Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

New Work by Jordan Weber opens Friday at Moberg Gallery

It almost came as no surprise that while I sat in the stairwell of Des Moines’ artist and activist Jordan Weber’s studio waiting for him to arrive, sweat beads were forming on my forehead. Five minutes of waiting in his second floor inferno felt appropriate — offering up a level of anticipation and discomfort similar to what his art is capable of producing.

The studio itself sprawls out in a manner that may resemble the layout of Weber’s own mind map: an open floor plan, painted mostly white with a feeling of endless possibility. The hand-applied sheen on the steps leading up to the studio and on the concrete floor inside creates simultaneous feelings of both finish and a raw lack of refinement. A broken piano sits off to the left, artfully juxtaposed against a handful of broken windows with stickers that read CAUTION DO NOT OPEN WINDOWS — an unintentional coincidence, as if the windows followed Weber’s masterplan: disrupt the patriarchal system.

In the farthest corner of the studio is where you’ll find Weber and his work, almost as if the pressure of upcoming exhibit deadlines have literally pushed him up against the wall (which he welcomes). Strewn about the floor of that same corner include sledgehammers, a taxidermy wolf and a handful of half-finished canvases rolled up together, waiting like treasure boxes to be opened and rediscovered, perhaps by Weber himself. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 12.10.21 AM
American Dreamers by Jordan Weber

Weber’s speeding down a new road in his career, one which can be thoughtfully traced back to his 2014 squad car turned art piece “American Dreamers” — created in response to the August 9, 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

His new collection sits comfortably collided at the intersection of Lichtenstein street art style and mechanical deconstruction — a nod to his artistic past and a peek into his continued investigation of societal degradation. Heavy in both the weight of machinery and the contextual expression it embodies, the work awaits final touches and artistic approval before it is shared with the public this Friday.

Pillaging of the land and body, colonization by way of eradication, and the annihilation of an entire people are all sentiments at play in Weber’s newest body of work. It’s a mouthful of well-versed descriptors, but ones backed by research, proving Weber reaches far to find truths that are being silenced within this generation, but have been heard as screams in the generations before his.

Part political collusion, part artistic collision, Weber’s work will continue to shine just like that studio floor, a nod to the foundation he stands on, as both raw and refined.

New Work by Jordan Weber, presented by Moberg Gallery, opens Friday, July 14. Details here.

1 Comment

  • Valerie Van Horne
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Bravo Jami Milne for a wonderfully written article on Jordan Weber’s work. I have followed Jordan for quite sometime and his show tonight at the Moberg left me deeply moved and in awe. I applaud him for his courage to dig deep into the issues of today.

Comments are closed.

New Work by Jordan Weber opens Friday at Moberg Gallery | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now