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Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a 4.4-acre (1.8-hectare) park in Des Moines, Iowa, that is part of Western Gateway Park. Pappajohn Sculpture Park, one of Des Moines’ most engaging attractions, comes highly recommended. It began with 24 sculptures in 2009, and more were added afterward. The Des Moines Art Center manages the sculpture park, which includes pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Jaume Plensa, Ai Weiwei, and Barry Flanagan. It is regarded as “one of the most prominent outdoor sculpture collections in the United States.” The park is named after John Pappajohn, a local venture investor, and his wife Mary, who gave the city of Des Moines the first 24 sculptures, valued at over $40 million USD. The Pappajohns are well-known art collectors, having been named to ARTnews’ top 200 art collectors from 1998 to 2014. The park’s earliest sculptures were originally part of the Pappajohns’ private collection and were displayed in their yard. People used to drive by their house to gaze at the paintings before they were transferred to Western Gateway Park. Their gift converted a collection of decaying structures into the beautiful sculpture park that exists today. The Pappajohn sculpture park was the crowning achievement of a massive revitalization project that breathed new life into downtown Des Moines. The environment was developed by Diana Agrest and Mario Gandelsonas, two New York-based architects, featuring grassy mounds and parabolic-shaped cutaways. These cuts create enclosed chambers in which the sculptures are displayed in groupings of comparable creative forms. Nomade by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, which dominates the landscape above Locust Street, is one of the most dramatic and recognizable sculptures in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The artwork is a squatting human figure composed of a lattice of white painted steel letters that weighs 6 short tons (5.4 t) and is 27 feet tall (8.2 m). Visitors may go inside the artwork to see through the spaces between the letters since it is hollow. The park, which is accessible every day from sunrise to midnight and explored with self-guided excursions, is particularly noteworthy. It is advised that you print your own guide map so that you may view the park sculptures from various angles and perspectives as you wander through the park. The park has been delighting Des Moines residents with beautiful sculptures, and it is a terrific destination for families, visitors, and anybody taking a lunch break. The sculpture park and its surroundings are enjoyable to visit at any time of year, but during the summer, these well-known sites host a variety of community events, including the Des Moines Arts Festival. Every year in June, the Des Moines Arts Festival is a wonderful celebration of summer in Des Moines. Hundreds of artists, artisans, and pleasant faces flood the greenspace and sidewalks during the Art Festival. The annual 80/35 Music Festival, which takes place in Western Gateway Park, is Des Moines’ largest music festival.

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