Downtown Polka Dot Party to Celebrate New Sculpture

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  If you start seeing spots downtown Friday night, don’t worry, you don’t need to get your eyes checked. Hundreds of people will be dressed up in polka dots for the Des Moines Art Center’s Polka Dot Party to celebrate the newest sculpture in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

“Pumpkin (L)” by Yayoi Kusama was installed in February and it has been a hit in the community, that is why the Art Center is celebrating with a free Polka Dot Party.

There are actually two parties, happening simultaneously, one at the Art Center and they are closing off 15th street near the Sculpture Park for the other.

The Art Center’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Christine Crawford said “The Art Center will have an open bar and Hors D’oeuvres and music by Courtney Krause. Then the shuttle runs back and forth up until about 8:45 so you can attend both parties.”

The street party at the Sculpture Park will have live music by The Punching Pandas, a cash bar and food trucks.

So, you can go from looking at Pumpkin (L), Kusama’s latest work, in the sculpture park to viewing her work from the 1960s at the Art Center. Her earlier work is very different than the polka dot sculpture, but it shows the same repeating patterns.

This was the inspiration for the theme of the party, so if you don’t have any polka dots to wear, you can still get creative with your outfit.

“Anything that has the repetition, whether it’s the pattern, or the color, the bronze of the sculpture downtown, you can get really creative,” Crawford said.

The party is all about bringing the community together to celebrate the newest sculpture downtown.

“People absolutely love it and it was obvious when we were installing the work, you know crowds came out, it was a beautiful day, it was over the lunch hour and everyone was so excited. As soon as our installations crew placed it on the pedestal we got rounds of applause it was just so much fun,” Crawford said.

Both Polka Dot Parties are from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.