Meet the Instructors:

We offer a one-of-a-kind teen/adult educational and fun experience in all things art related.  Currently we offer, social painting (acrylics and watercolors), sculpting, airbrushing, basic drawing, hand sewing make n take creatures, mixed media, and many more to come.

Shawn Palek


With coming up on 27 years of experience in the industry, Shawn has achieved success over many spans of media, such as Art Shows, Competitions, Teaching, Television Interviews, Magazines and Rallies. He’s accumulated many awards, and friends along the way. When asked what the best advice he’d ever received, it was “Get to Work!” That no one was going to do the work for him. He knew then, at the age of 19, that he wanted to leave his mark on this world, in one way or another! The airbrush found him, and he has mastered it’s ability to achieve great things. Just like the airbrush found him, Shawn also believes he will always need to find the right person for each of his one-of-a-kind paintings. “The rightful owners of the painting are out there, you just have to find them!” Shawn is a master of “Speed-Realism.” He spends his days teaching at a local college, participating in/and curating various art shows, as well as working on commission works for clients. You can visit his website to find out more:

Misty Palek

Co- Owner

Misty Palek is a self-taught watercolor artist, who enjoys releasing her bountiful imagination on paper.  She specializes in surrealism mainly of food, including her love of fruits and vegetables. Spending time over the past five years and developing her technique in watercolor, she is quite proficient in creating one-of-a-kind paintings that appeal to all generations.
Misty lives in Des Moines, Iowa Metro area and is currently the Co-Owner of the Palek Studio and Gallery in Historic East Village, with her husband.  She has won many awards, in the watercolor category and she is part of several clubs, such as the Iowa Watercolor Society, and several others.  You can visit her work at 

April Jeske

Office Manager

April Jeske is a local artist, born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Saydel High School where she took several painting and drawing classes each semester throughout her high school career. Her painting genres range from landscapes, the occasional portrait, and weirdly- things that uncontrollably drip. The mediums she uses include, acrylic, watercolor, sometimes pencil, and dabbling with many different kinds of mediums as well. She has received multiple awards and various different ribbons in art competitions such as the Raccoon River Art Conference and the 2016 Iowa state fair!

Ever since she was a child, she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life, but she knew it had to involve art somehow. It all started when she was very young and her mother let her and her siblings go ham with watercolors. So here she is, some- odd years later doing the same exact thing- just with more experience and not in her mother’s dining room. April gets most of her inspiration through nature and the uniquely weird, world around her.

Maggie Barbour


Maggie Barbour is a mandolin playing, chihuahua rescuing, all medias artist, who would love to eat Chinese food every day, and likes gardening. Maggie started out drawing with pencils and oil painting. She continued on with pen and ink, watercolors, acrylics, paper making, book making, sculpture, photography, metal jewelry, wood, and recreating found items into art.

Current love affairs with art: acrylics, and mixed media. Specializes in pet portraits and is working on her people portrait skills.

Maggie lives in Slater, Iowa.

Brian Jones


I don’t set out to produce art about one subject or another. I can find art in a twig, shell or found objects. I’m never without a sketchbook in hand or head, so I am constantly drawing and sometimes the drawings are left in the sketchbook and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images. I didn’t set out to be an classical artist or to create artwork relating to social commentary but as my portfolio developed and people started to review my work, the descriptions started to emerge and I began to notice a pattern I hadn’t intended but am now please with. At school, the only class I really paid any attention in was art. I simply wasn’t interested in anything else and I think my obsession with depicting the monotony of the work place and work force started there… Some of my subject matter is about people’s daily routines and a comment on human nature. None of it was intentional – it all developed and evolved over time. People always ask for my artist statement so I needed to do one but I’ve never liked to explain a certain piece of work – if you’ve made a picture and that’s how you wanted it to be – hopefully it can speak for itself and whatever it says to the viewer – it’s the right message because there isn’t a wrong and a right message. Each person takes something a little different from the same picture and I’m happy with that. Influences My influences are first and foremost everything I see, feel and experience. Nature is my driver. I was the little boy with pockets filled with rocks, twigs, and any found object. The artists I most admire are Paul Klee and Keith Haring. I love architecture particularly Art Deco.
Visit his work on Facebook: Brian Jones

Cale Smith


Cale Smith has been an artist for most of his life.  His favorite medias are airbrush, colored pencils, watercolor, pencils, and pens.  He took airbrush classes under the watchful eye of “Obi-Shawn Kenobi”, AKA Shawn Palek.  Once the classes ended he spent some time as an apprentice at Shawn’s shop and managed to earn a Specialized Certificate in Airbrush Artwork from the esteemed Des Moines Area Community College, or DMACC for short.  Cale now spends his free time working on flash, Rat Fink-esque art, lettering, and dabbles in pinstriping.
Cale has lived in Iowa his entire, awesome life!  At this current juncture in time he lives on the, highly regarded, south side of Des Moines.  Here he resides in his humble abode with his amazing yet humble wife, Adria, and little hellion daughter, Stella.  These two manage to keep his hands full.  When there is some time to sneak out and enjoy hobbies he is working on building a 1979 KZ400 rat bike and riding his 1200 Sportster.
Hopefully this bio has gotten you interested in the classes he plans to teach.  His original bio was going to be short, sweet, and to the point…”I.AM.AWESOME!!!!!!!” typed in 72 size font, but he felt maybe a little more focus on his background and a little less focus on his awesomeness was a better idea.  He plans to bring all his awesomeness to the classes he teaches, so if you want to partake in all of its glory remember to sign up for some classes!

Sadaget Aliyeva


Sadagat Aliyeva was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has MA degree in theater from her native country and worked in professional theater about eight years prior to her moving to US.

Sadagat currently is a librarian at Clive Public Library. In the last five years she directed two musicals at Des Moines Onstage, which both were very successful. Sadagat also did several plays with school aged children, led Drama Camp at Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center and Improv for Teenagers at Clive Public Library. For now, Sadagat leads Improv for Senior Citizens program through Clive Library at Walnut Ridge Senior Living Community.

Sadagat lives in Des Moines with her husband, three wonderful kids, and two adorable cats. Besides her great passion for theater, she also writes short stories, and draws in her spare time.

Sunshine Collins


Kimberly Peterson


Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, along with roughly 12 years of quality teaching experience, she will no doubt, “knock your socks off” in the teaching arena.  She is a very kind and patient person/teacher, who has been teaching preschool aged children for the past ten years. She brings playfulness and a structured environment to any of her instructed classes at the Palek studio and gallery.

KimBerly Sharrot


I have been an artist all my life, and sewing since I was a little child. I am a traditionally trained graphic designer and an established professional Teddy Bear artist. Primarily I sew and create 3/D soft sculptures (stuffed animals & dolls), as well as acrylic on canvas paintings. Incorporating both fabric, and paint I have been producing one of a kind “sculptures”. Also I have designed tessellation patterns printed on fabric to use in generating mixed media pieces. I have a deep love for bats and horror movies, especially the vampires genre. You can see my love of the macabre by viewing my work. It is a serious part of my artistic expression & personality. Teaching sewing & craft classes is something that I have enjoyed doing successfully for over 15 years. Visit her work at: KimB Kreatures