There has been a stirring, or some might even call it an uprising, in the Des Moines art scene. Specifically, the female art scene. This is due, in part, to a group of women who have joined forces to cultivate community among female artists in Des Moines.

The group has been officially dubbed Des Moines Girl Gang, an apt nod to their empowering mission. They have a logo, they have merch, and they are about to have their first art opening.

We heard a rumor that the idea for this Girl Gang actually developed after an opening in our very own Viaduct Gallery, so we sat down with the founding members to hear more of the story.

Hi, Girl Gang!

DMSC: You are actually not as intimidating as your name might suggest.
[Note: The Girl Gang members are quite adorable and do not carry guns or flash gang signs.]
DSMGG: [laughter and gang signs all around]

What is Des Moines Girl Gang and what is its purpose?
DSMGG: Des Moines Girl Gang is a female-driven collective of artists in the Des Moines metro area. We strive to provide a supportive and encouraging community that thrives on sharing our creative endeavors with one another and the public.

DMSC: That’s rad. What inspired the idea for this group? TBH, we heard it’s because the Social Club is so cool and supportive of gangs.
DSMGG: Well, that’s true…in part. Des Moines Girl Gang was conceived in May 2015 after a conversation between a few female artists at the PedalArt exhibit in the Viaduct Gallery. We had all spent a lot of time thinking about changes we’d like to see in the Des Moines art scene, and we sort-of bonded over the notion that we could have impact this community. Our original plan was just to have a one-time, pop-up art exhibit, but it quickly evolved into much more.


Des Moines Girl Gang founding members: Tia Rodemeyer, Alexandria Crahan, and Meanz Chan showing varying levels of excitement about DSMGG on the night the idea was conceived in the Viaduct Gallery.

Who was involved in the initial creation of the group?
DSMGG: Meanz Chan, Tia Rodemeyer, and Alexandria Crahan. We now have over 150 members and are growing daily!

DMSC: That’s crazy and awesome. What do people have to do to join the gang? Any initiation rituals or hazing?
DMSGG: If you want to join the gang we only have three requirements: 1) you identify as female 2) you identify as an artist and 3) you are local to Des Moines. If you are a dude you can still be a fan and support our artists! If you don’t think you’re an artist, take time to re-evaluate. You are probably more creative than you think! And if you don’t live in Des Moines–don’t fret! We hope to expand soon.

DMSC: What can we expect from your opening tonight?
DSMGG: Our first collective art exhibit is from 6-9 pm at Hill Vintage in the East Village. It is a free event with free drinks! The exhibit contains work in a variety of media from over 30 local, female artists. There will also be live music by Des Moines-based musicians: Christine Her, Lindsay Keast and Betsy Soukup. Arin Eaton will DJ between sets.

DMSC: We love art, music, and vintage clothing; but you totally sealed the deal at ‘free drinks.’
See you there!

Check out the Des Moines Girl Gang on the
web, facebook, and instagram.