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G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts

G. David "Dave" Hurd

G. David “Dave” Hurd was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary heart. He loved his city of Des Moines. He loved the Arts Festival and was passionate about its success. Dave was an innovator. He was the person in the room who always asked, “Why not?”


The Des Moines Arts Festival proudly presents the G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts to honor Dave's legacy. This annual recognition to an individual or organization honors Dave’s passion for making our community a better place to live and his passion that drives innovation, community-building and opportunity.

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Chris Vance
2023 G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts

This year we recognize Des Moines visual artist, Chris Vance. Chris embodies Dave's dedication to mentor those who are to come. To ensure the industry continues to thrive. Arguably one of the most successful artists in our community, Chris always make time for young up-and-coming artists. And he makes time for us. He is a voice of reason when we are searching for advice. He helps us be a better arts festival, serving artists.

His collaborations are ones for the history books. Whether it's with young cutting edge artists or his son, he always makes time.

Chris is a strong advocate for artists trying to find their voice. He hosts a group of local visual artists called Paintpushers, a small but mighty group of visual artists who gather monthly to critique and show new work in a supportive motivating environment that is designed to push artists to reach their potential.

We are thrilled to celebrate Chris. To say thank you. His spirit of mentorship starkly emulates Dave's vision to make Des Moines a better place to live.

Past Recipients

Hoyt Sherman Place, 2022

ArtForce Iowa, 2021

Girls Rock! Des Moines, 2019

Bravo Greater Des Moines, 2018

Chaden Halfhill, 2017

Larissa Kabel, 2016

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