Image by Jacob Fox

North Gallery Exhibits

The North Gallery at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden features art and photography on natural and botanical themes throughout the year. The subject matter supports our mission — “Exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants.” The shows change regularly, showcasing artists from around the Midwest. Sales support the Botanical Garden’s annual fund. Artists and photographers interested in having a show are encouraged to contact the Education and Outreach Department at 515.323.6296.

Seasonal Artist Exhibit

Journey Through Wonderland by Kristi Burns

Journey through Wonderland and experience fungi, lichen and mushrooms of Iowa as you’ve never seen them before – bursting with vibrant color and over 5 feet wide.

These photos of fungi and lichens were taken on the Urbandale bike trail while photographer Kristie Burns was completing her “365 Days of Urban Wildlife” project. She took one picture every day for an entire year to show the diversity that can exist even in small spaces. These photos were enlarged to over five feet in width and printed on canvas to give them a dream-like quality somewhere between a painting and a photo.

Dr. Kristie Burns, Mh, ND, Ph.D. has an BA in Anthropology and Lingustics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She holds a masters and doctorate degree in plant biology and Naturopathy. Kristie Burns was a photo-journalist in Chicago for three years covering presidential elections and protests at the time. Later she was a photo-journalist in the Middle East for 16-years and has exhibited photos on the "Women of Egypt” at the Sony Gallery, as well as covering treks through the desert with nomads, street life in Cairo and tourism in Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Her work has been published internationally including Lonely Planet Guides (Egypt 1986-1996 editions) and even a Hollywood movie (the original Stargate). Locally her photos have been been exhibited at the Urbandale Public Library and Barnes & Noble. Kristie is currently working on a photo project called Earthschooling 365 that she has published at Half the proceeds from her photography sales go towards the preservation of wildlife habitat. 

Join us for Kristie's opening reception on April 11, 2017 from 5 - 7 p.m. For more details, click here.

Highlights of Past Exhibits

Beginning with the christening of the North Wing Gallery and the Show House Corridor Gallery in 2008 we have showcased work by some of the region’s most talented artists and photographers: Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger, Vicki Ingham, David Cavagnaro, Marilyn and Roger Towndrow, Peggy Jester, Ellen Burnquist, John Gaps III, Concetta Morales, Robert Bergazyn, quilts from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, Linda Andeberg, Peter Krumhardt, Charlotte Hamity, Kelly Norris, Cindy Skeie, Ann Mowery, Robert Hagins, Bill Johnson, Saundra Devick, Kathy Glenn, Connie Guillaume, Linda Kielsmeier, Martha Rhoades, Jean McCrea, Mark Hirsch, Jerri Ross and Mary Kline-Misol. There have also been shows by the Des Moines Camera Club and by the Master Gardeners of Polk and surrounding counties.

Permanent Exhibit

In 1982, the internationally recognized team of Newton, Iowa museum artists Norman Neal Deaton, Michelle Deaton, Blaine Haunsperger and Daniel Kohl accepted the commission to create a mural with accompanying wildflower replicas representing some of the many plants blooming in the Iowa prairie in the spring, summer and fall seasons.

The botanical models are all handmade. Actual plant specimens are taken apart and a mold is made of each part, including leaves, petals, sepals, etc. The parts are then cast in vinyl or acetate by a vacu-formed process, trimmed, reassembled and painted by hand. Some of the grass blades are mylar grouped with actual grasses that have been preserved and stabilized. Most of the stems of the plants are wire welded with a miniature jewelers' welder. 

This work of art is the gift of Myron and Jacqueline Blank in honor of their parents A.H. and Anna Blank and Lewis and Leah Navran.  

Upcoming Events


We are very excited to host many signature events throughout the season at our location to help bring something special to our gardens. Below are various slideshows from past events that take place throughout our different galleries and exhibits. Please see our upcoming events to see what excitement is coming to the gardens soon.