The Greater Des Moines Partnership is excited to team up with the Iowa Women's Business Center to bring you First Fridays! The goal of First Fridays is for the aspiring entrepreneurs and the people of Greater Des Moines (DSM) to hear from business owners and entrepreneurs who have helped shape the communities in which we live. The speakers are makers, store owners, movers and shakers, creators of regional or national brands and all have stories that are uniquely their own.
Susan Watts is the owner of Olson-Larsen Galleries, a contemporary gallery and custom frame shop in West Des Moines. She oversees all operations of the gallery — managing the representation of 60 regional artists, working with a range of individual and corporate clients, coordinating major commissions and curating gallery exhibitions. Watts is part of Project Spaces, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, serves as co-chair of Historic Valley Junction’s Gallery Night committee and is actively involved in the Historic Valley Junction Foundation district. Watts is currently a member of the Momentum Community Advisory Board and formerly served on the Artstop and Friends of Des Moines Parks board of directors. Susan was the gallery manager at Olson-Larsen Galleries from 2003 to 2010, at which time she purchased the business. Watts came to the gallery after four years with the Salt Lake Art Center in Salt Lake City, where she served as Coordinator of Education and Curatorial Assistant. Watts has also been a freelance arts writer for local and regional publications throughout her career. She holds a B.A. with honors in art history and journalism from the University of Iowa.