DES MOINES, Iowa -- When walking or driving downtown you may notice some images popping out at you. There are seven blown up photographs of professional dancers from Ballet Des Moines pasted on walls throughout the city.
“I think what was incredible is the ability to bring street art out of the alley way… so that the average person walking by can interact with it and engage with it in a curious way,” Visual Artist Jami Milne said.
Milne took the photographs of the dancers during a residency with Ballet Des Moines back in 2016.
“It’s one thing to take pictures and have them sit on a hard drive but to care enough for them and the subject and the art of ballet to print them out, find organizations that care about that as well and want to bring that to the public,” Milne said.
Adore Your Walls helped coordinate and execute the project, Ballet Des Moines served as the inspiration and The Downtown Neighborhood Association helped assist in finding the walls and funding the project.
Mary Cooper is a professional dancer at Ballet Des Moines and she was in awe when she saw the life-size image of herself on the brick wall of the Des Moines Social Club.
“It’s fascinating to see myself put up on a wall where and just watching everyone who’s driven by… how many times we’ve been seen,” Cooper said. “I’ve already seen some pictures of people mimicking our poses. I think that that’s the whole point, it that people are supposed to get involved, that’s why it’s here on the street, at eye level, real life size.”
The images seem to dance around the city, you can see them for yourself in these locations:
- Des Moines Social Club/Kum&Go Theater's south side, 900 Cherry Street
- Iowa State Theatre Company, south side, 111 11th St
- The Garden Nightclub, north side, 112 SE 4th St
- Northwestern Hotel Building, west side, 321 E. Walnut St.
- RoCA, back alley entrance, 208 Court Ave
- eden, back alley entrance, 418 E 6th St (private entrance)
The images are not meant to last forever, several already have some cracks and tears. Milne said the dancers pasted on bricks are likely to deteriorate faster but the ones pasted on flat walls could last up to three years.