Ossian Ward. Image courtesy Masao Yamazaki.

Ossian Ward. Image courtesy Masao Yamazaki.


Invite only, but please share with qualified friends and colleagues.

Chicken Tractor wants to build bridges between curators and museum professionals through the Midwest by hosting a weekend of events for curators and museum professionals in Iowa and neighboring communities. It's a casual affair for sharing solutions unique to the needs of the Midwest and enjoying everyone's company.

We have optional events for you, and some require additional RSVPs. You can be part of Ossian Ward's Iowa State Fair Posse if you get here early enough on Thursday. We'll do a group tour of the incredible jewel of Central Iowa, the Des Moines Art Center, with curator Laura Burkhalter. Ossian Ward is presenting a lecture at the Art Center prior to the dinner. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is another great attraction, with tours available (we need advance notice of interest) if weather allows. There's public art all over Des Moines. We'll arrange studio tours with local artists and galleries to keep you busy.


Visit Des Moines to connect with your curatorial and museum professional peers in our corner of the Midwest. Our main event is a casual dinner party, meeting and sharing stories about stragtegies and nuances of presenting art to a midwestern audience. Dinner is the featured attraction, but we'd love to have you around all day, so we planned diversions.

Noted critic and author Ossian Ward will deliver an illuminating lecture on August 11th. Reservations are required, but if we know you're coming, we'll handle that. The enormous Iowa State Fair kicks off, too, so even though hotels may need a more advanced booking, you'll get to bring your tourist shoes and experience all that food on sticks you've wondered about for your whole life. 

A temporary public installation by the M12 Collective will be in the horse barn this year, arranged by Project Spaces, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, and organized in part by our own Mat Greiner.

August 11

10:30am—2pm    Hang out at the Iowa State Fair with noted art critic Ossian Ward (limited to first few respondents, admission not included)
7—8:15pm     Ossian Ward lecture at the Des Moines Art Center
8pm    Dinner!*

August 12
Local artists' studio visits
Mid-day    Curator-led tour of the Des Moines Art Center
Sculpture Park
More State Fair

* If we have fewer than 20 attendees, dinner will be home cooked by Chicken Tractor. If we have more than 20, we will reserve a room and buy you a drink.