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Des Moines artist recreates COVID-19 events through miniature worlds

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Back in March of 2020 Des Moines-based artist, Mollie Wallace was working on a new project. She was turning a jewelry box into a miniature opera house, but when everything shut down her idea morphed into something very different, and "Pandema’s Box" was born. Wallace talks with Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe about her exhibit featured at Des Moines' Mainframe Studios, the Waterloo Center for the Arts, and can now be seen at Plymouth Church in Des Moines. Octagon Center for the Arts Director Heather Johnson joins the conversation to share how the pandemic impacted art communities and where they stand now.

Later, Young Birders of Iowa hit its 10th anniversary last month. Executive Director Tyler Harms shares how the organization has inspired young people to form a fascination with winged creatures.


  • Mollie Wallace, Des Moines-based artist
  • Heather Johnson, executive director, Octagon Center for the Arts
  • Tyler Harms, executive director, Young Birders of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.