Clive Art Gallery

 The Clive Public Library is proud to present our Art Gallery! Come celebrate the artists in Clive and the Des Moines metro area. We will feature artwork from a variety of local metro and student artists. Due to the pandemic, we are showcasing the talents of our artists right here on our website. When the library is open again, we hope you'll enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee, find a new read, and revel in the wonderful artwork in person.  If you are a metro artist, and would like to have your work considered for display in our web or library gallery, please fill out the artist application below. 

Presenting the artwork of Tom Murphy
Along the  Buffalo Road (or Chemin de Voyageurs)

Thomas Randel Murphy - Artist Statement - edited 02/25
Tom Murphy has taught art or been involved in community art programs for the past 40 years.

 I have always been interested in drawing, painting. I have taught at many levels with different age groups, in several settings: schools, college, museums, and community centers. I have been so lucky to be able to explore my passion for creating artwork my entire life as a career. My wife has always fortified me to explore education, working in nature during summers, following my desire to explore North Iowa’s treasures in places of inspiration. We have made many trips together as a family or I’ve gone with friends who are teachers or DNR people, and we all gathered at the Bait Shop in Clear Lake.
This has added to my knowledge in many ways from fisheries to geographical formation, and historical information.
I titled this show at the Library “Along the Buffalo Road”, or (Chemin des voyageurs), because it’s about places I connect with. In the late 1970’s Diane encouraged me to go out and paint near our home in Clear Lake Iowa. I have always been interested in landscapes, nature, fishing, hunting, hiking and canoeing in Northern Iowa. These places are on similar path of Highway 18 all the way to the Mississippi River. I was told this was an old Buffalo Trail or Voyagers trail from the Great Lakes out west to the great plains. The connection of place comes from the memories of family, friends, and the sprit of nature itself. It has brought me great wonder, peace and excitement.
I have visited my wife's family or traveled back and forth to my family’s in Des Moines during holidays and vacationed along Interstate 35. Later when we moved to Clive, we got a cabin in Clear Lake. Many of my fishing and hunting friends explored with me. The Fishing crew all became friends at a bait shop in Clear Lake 30 years ago. We hike, camp, fish and hunt in many areas in the triangle of the Buffalo Road, I80 to the west and Mississippi on east. This place has a sacred ground that is historical to native Americans, the Ho - Chunk or Winnebago tribe, Sioux tribe, and Fox tribe and Sac tribe to the south. During these trips I have picked up books and learned from teachers I taught with, and DNR friends that tell me about the history of the area. This really made me more interested and curious about Indian tribes in area, Painted rocks on the Mississippi, Mound Builders, Driftless Area and Geology. Fishing and Hunting have been another area of inspiration that goes back to my interest in Maynard Reece, Frank Miller, Ding Darling, the Hudson River School in Conservation and Landscapes places.
Thanks go out to those who have encouraged, and taught me, to continue with my exploration in my artwork. I owe much to Diane Murphy for bringing me to this place in the North Iowa with her family that has inspired me so much. My hope in these images of places is that people see the inspiration and needed to conserve our wild places in Iowa and beyond.
· Grandview College 1976, Associate Degree, AA
· Drake University 1978, Bachelors Arts –Education, BA
· Rhode Island School Design 1988 Masters of Arts Education, MAE
Work Experience
· Mason City, Iowa, Mason City Community School District, Elementary K-6 Art 1979-1989
· MacNider Art Museum, Mason City, Iowa - Painting, Drawing classes 1980 -1989
· Grandview College, Adjunct Professor Art Education Evening Classes 1990- 1995
· West Des Moines Community School District K – 6 Elementary Art 1989 – 1995
· West Des Moines Community School District 9 – 12 High School Art 1995 – 2017 Retired
· Des Moines Art Center Instructor ASA – Outreach Program / Classes 2014 – Present

All pieces are available for purchase. See list at bottom of page for specific prices and dimensions.
To order, please contact Tom Murphy at

Bear Creek Trout Stream Acrylic stream through green hills and grass   Bear Creek Trout Stream Watercolor stream through green hills and grass
Blind Contour Breakfast Acrylic abstract image of wine bottle, knife, cheese and apple   Breakfast Still Life Acrylic Wine bottle, cheese and apple
Campbell Park Falls Acrylic Bridge and tree near water   Campbell Park Falls Watercolor Bridge and trees near water
Cole Lake Erie Future Dreams Acrylic Man looking out at lake   Flour Lake Gun Flint Trail Watercolor boat near dock on lake
Gull Rock Lake Canada Watercolor bird on rock in lack with trees and sky   Ireland Trip Planning Acrylic map boat seashells
Lily Pads Clear Lake Watercolor   Macintosh Woods State Park Beach Acrylic rocky shoreline near water with tree
Maffitt Reservoir Pines Acrylic sunlight through trees   North Shore Alone Watercolor figure on beach by water and cliff
North Shore Twin Rock Watercolor view of lake, rocks and trees   Path to Greenwood Pond Watercolor sunny path through woods
Ritz Landing Island View Watercolor view of dock and boats on lake   Tiki Bar Clear Lake Acrylic people sitting at tables at outdoor bar with string lights overhead
Trompe l'oeil - Prairie of the North Acrylic animal skull with flowers and taped photographs and glasses   View of Dodges Point Watercolor sunset over lake and treeline

_Tom Murphy Art Exhibit price sheet and thumbnail pictures

Coming to the Clive Art Gallery in 2021

Hannah Claire

 watercolor image of harriet tubman

Clive Community Art Contest
"Distinct by Nature"
Ages 6 through adult - May 1-31, 2021
The Clive Public Library is hosting our annual community art contest. This year, we’ve added an adult category to the mix! The theme for 2021's contest is “Distinct by Nature”. Submit one piece of your original artwork to the Clive Public Library during the month of May. We will have a panel of judges determine the winner of each age category, ages 6-10, 11-14, 15-18, and 19 & up. There will be a prize awarded for each category. You may submit two dimensional or three dimensional items. The 2-d items may be no larger than 18”x24”, and the 3-d items may weigh no more than 20 pounds. Paintings, drawings, photographs, etchings, sculptures and more - your imagination about nature is the only limit! The judging will take place in early June, and all items will be displayed in the library or on the website. Please include your name, the title of your piece, your age, the medium, and your contact information with your submission. For more information, please contact Patty at

Our previous artists

Justin Young 

Watercolor picture of Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market

Kids for Art in the Clive Public Library

We had twenty-two wonderful submissions to our first Kids for Art in the Clive Public Library community art contest. Thank you to the  kids who shared their fabulous talents with us! 
The Gymnast pencil drawingMoon and Stars painted rockThe Summer of Covid -19 marker drawingMy Colorful Friend, Mr. Waggs

Are you interested in showcasing your work in our gallery? We are currently accepting artist applications. We currently have room for approximately 14-21 small to medium sized two dimensional pieces. Most shows last six to eight weeks. If you would be interested in displaying your artwork, please fill out the artist application form, and we will contact you to schedule a show. Please see below for information about our policies, contract and the inventory of work form or for more general information, please send an email to the library or call us at 515-453-2221.
Artist Application



Address Line 2:

City or Town:

State or Province:

Zip or Postal Code:



Web site. If no web site, please email several photos of your work:

General description of your work:

Medium/materials used:

Approximate dimensions of work:

Earliest date available:

   I have read and understand the Clive Public Library Art Gallery Exhibit and Display Policy, and I am interested in displaying my original works of art at the library. 



  Exhibit and Display Policy                 Contract               Artist Application            Inventory of Works Form