PRESS RELEASE | The Stars Align for “Man with the Moon” at Mainframe Studios

PRESS RELEASE | The Stars Align for “Man with the Moon” at Mainframe Studios Mainframe Studios | 01/27/2022

A collaboration between famed album cover designer Jay Vigon and revered sculptor James Bearden launches a new public art program. 

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 31, 2022) – Resting at the intersection of Center and 10th Street in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on the property of Mainframe Studios is a new outdoor sculpture titled “Man with the Moon.” It is a collaborative artwork created by album cover design legend Jay Vigon and nationally recognized sculptor James Bearden. 

The work, sculpted of welded steel and donning colored bronze patinas, stands over 14 feet high on a concrete base that launches a new rotating public art sculpture program.

“The idea behind this initiative is to provide a venue for local artists looking to create and exhibit new outdoor works of art that are then available for purchase,” Mainframe Studios executive director Siobhan Spain explains. Income from sales go to the artists with a portion reserved to support fabrication of future works.

Spain added that the new program “celebrates the meaningful connections that happen at Mainframe Studios that often lead to new possibilities, like this sculpture, which elevates the best of Vigon and Bearden.” 

When Bearden secured a workspace at Mainframe Studios in 2021 he was eager to meet the graphic design icon he studied while in college at Grand View – who also rents space at Mainframe Studios. 

Bursting at the seams with sharply executed black and white ink drawings, glossy computer generated abstract florals, high relief painted canvases, and albums by Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi, Van Halen and others of his design, Vigon’s studio is in constant use. 

“When I saw Jay’s "Man with the Moon" drawing, I immediately wanted to create it in steel,” says Bearden. 

“We both like finding new ways to create and share an appreciation for mid-century modern aesthetics,” Vigon said of meeting Bearden. 

Using a maquette, the two artists worked together to refine design elements and execution methods. The finished work was installed on January 12th. 

Currently, there is no formal application process for the nonprofit's new rotating sculpture program. Those interested can send proposals to info@mainframestudios.org. “Man with the Moon” purchase inquiries can be directed to siobhan@mainframestudios.org. 

About Jay Vigon

Jay Vigon earned his reputation by applying distinctively bold graphics to logo design, music packaging and fashion advertising. His clients include Lucas Films, Warner Brothers, University of California, Irvine, and Gotcha Sportswear. Vigon and his wife Margo Nahas have created artwork for over 80 album covers that include Van Halen “1984”, Prince “Purple Rain”, Fleetwood Mac “Tusk”, Stevie Wonder “The Secret Life of Plants”, and Quiet Riot “Metal Health.” Vigonis the author of three books: Marks and Marks ll which are considered a must have for any design library, as well as Vigon Ink., a look into the art of hand drawn graphics and personal fine art projects. His pioneering style led Vigon to become an innovator in field broadcast graphics for television commercials with such clients as AT&T, Diet Coke, Janus Fund and Honda. Moving behind the camera, Vigon's many directoral projects include spots created for Mercedes Benz, Estee Lauder, Seiko watches and Kaiser Permanente, as well as a multi-year documentary project based on the life and times of Cesar Chavez. Vigon continues to design for national and international clients. Find Vigon at: Mainframe Studios #467 | jayvigon.com | @jayvigon_artnow

About James Bearen

James Bearden is an abstract artist, creating sculpture full time since 2007. He works in series named Cathedral, Assemblage, Voids, Lunar Blooms & Animals. Bearden earned a BA in Fine Art and a BA in Visual Communications from Grandview College in Des Moines, IA. He started his art career as a graphic designer and was an art director for an advertising agency based out of Des Moines where he received 52 Addy Awards. After the economic fallout of 9/11, Bearden found he could no longer sustain a full-time living in the graphics art career. While working freelance in a reduced market, he began to learn how to work with metal and create sculptural art. In 2013, he expanded his range to include functional works, including cabinets, lamps and tables. His work is held in corporate, municipal and prominent private collections. Find Bearden at: Mainframe Studios #LL01 | jamesbeardensculpture.com | @jamesbeardensculpture

About Mainframe Studios

Mainframe Studios is a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing permanent affordable workspace and creative opportunities to artists of all disciplines. We are transforming Central Iowa’s art scene by developing a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver, serving as a national model that stands the test of time. As of March 2021, Mainframe Studios has four of its five floors renovated and a total of 131 studios. These most recent renovations came in under budget and occupancy was 100% within 30 days of completion. Fundraising will continue until its final floor is renovated and the organization’s financially self-sustaining business plan is fully realized. Mainframe Studios has a number of public art works, including “Critical Mass” a large-scale permanent mural covering the entire exterior façade of the organization. Jordan Weber’s rooftop installation titled “Inhale, Exhale” is scheduled for spring 2022 to feature 5-foot high mirrored stainless steel lettering that is backlit by LED bulbs. Learn more at mainframestudios.org | @mainframearts

Photos by: Jay Vigon and Mirza Kudic