New Gallery in East Village Aims to Elevate Emerging Artists

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Nestled between Raygun and Tacopacalypse comes a new art gallery to the East Village.

"I just kind of saw the need, especially for people coming out of college, or people who just have a full-time job other than art to get their stuff out there, and have another venue," said Carly Zuendel, the owner of Moxie Gallery.

"Moxie" means "bold" and "full of character" - traits Zuendel says she likes to see in artists and their work. Opening the doors to her gallery for the first time last month, Zuendel celebrated her small business' grand opening this weekend. She says, for emerging artists, finding an audience isn't always easy.

"Sometimes showing your work can be a second job for an artist - doing the work is the first job, and the second part is getting it out there," she said. "And sometimes, their full-time job happens to be something else, so this is just another way to help them out. Bring it in, and I can promote them, as well."

Moxie features artists and their work on a rotating basis; through January, there are 10 local artists currently on display, as well as about five others from around the country.

"Up until this point, most of my work has just been like digital, or online, or Facebook and social media," said Cody Osen, a local photographer. "So, Moxie will help get my work out there in the physical realm and out there to people who haven't seen it before."

Osen says he's had a hard time finding demand for physical photos, and hopes Moxie will help him break out of his digital confines.

"I think it's a bit of a gamble, because we do live in such a digital world nowadays," he said. "It's a challenge to find more of a customer that's like, 'Hey I love that photo, I want that on my wall at home.' So, that's what I'm hoping Moxie is going to help me do."

It's a win-win for Zuendel and artists like Osen; artists get their name and work out into the public eye, and Moxie profits as the middle-man. In Des Moines, where art is thriving and growing, Zuendel calls it a good idea at a good time.

"Sometimes it's hard for artists, they feel like they have to beg and scramble to get their art out there, and it shouldn't be such of a struggle," she said. "They deserve it, they have the talent, and this is just another way for me to help promote them as an artist, as an individual."