public art project


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Metro Arts Alliance in October 2015 the organization partnered with The Des Moines International Airport and Des Moines Arts Festival to commission a piece of public art that incorporates the use of recycled materials, public participation at the Arts Festival, and a connection to the airport.



Bird’s of a Feather, the latest piece created by Bounnak Thammavong, Stephanie Sailer & Mike Sneller, speaks to the power of community involvement. With the assistance of over 2,200 Des Moines Arts Festival participants, small painted birds will be added and help the sculpture grow. As a refugee to the United States when he was young, Bounnak learned very early that only with the help of others can we fly toward a better future. Every mark, large or small, will help in the creation of this piece.

The project would not have been possible without generous support of its many donors, volunteers, and key partners such as the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Register Media, The Iowa Arts Council, the Des Moines International Airport, as well as the Des Moines Arts Festival; and the many individuals who contributed their uniquely painted bird.

The Artists

Bounnak Thammavong

Lead Artist

Stephanie Sailer

Contributing Artist

Mike Sneller

Contributing Artist

public art project photos

Thanks again to all the volunteers who made the Public Art Project possible at the Des Moines Arts Festival!  This cutie sure had a great time, thanks to YOU!

#arttakesflight

Project Timeline

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROJECT

March 30, 2015Official announcement of the Birds of a Feather project by Metro Arts Alliance, in partnership with the Des Moines Arts Festival & the Des Moines International Airport.

METRO ARTS ALLIANCE EXPLAINS PROCESS OF SELECTION

April 30, 2015 – Three committees worked together to find the artist that would create a public artwork for the Airport!

GIANT BIRD HEADING TO DSM AIRPORT

April 14, 2015 – Check out this article written by Michael Morain for the Des Moines Register about Birds of a Feather.

INTERVIEW WITH BOUNNAK ON IPR (IOWA PUBLIC RADIO

June 16, 2015Listen to the wonderful interview by Rob Dillard with IPR for the Being in Iowa Program.

PAINTING BEGINS AT THE DES MOINES ARTS FESTIVAL

June 26, 2015 – Over 2,200 participants at the Des Moines Arts Festival helped create the work, by helping paint the bird and make tiny bird-shaped kites that will fly behind it.

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BIG BIRD ARRIVES AT DES MOINES AIRPORT

Dec. 24, 2015Article by Michael Morain, about the installation of the piece to the Des Moines Airport

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get in touch with us

Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines
3209 Ingersoll Ave. Suite 208, Des Moines, IA 50312
info@MetroArts.org
515.280.3222

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