IAC Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2012

Dustin Vande Hoef (IDALS), 515-281-3375
Jeff Morgan (Cultural Affairs), 515-281-3858
Heather Lilienthal (IFBF), 515-225-5409

“Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award Announced by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau”

$5,000 to be awarded to winners who will be announced at the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES – Iowa artists of all ages are invited to participate in a new agricultural art contest that is being sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

The ‘Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award’ is a juried art competition seeking artwork that innovatively celebrates the natural beauty of Iowa and its role as a global leader in agriculture.

Contest winners will be recognized and honored at the Iowa State Fair on August 14 prior to the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Department of Agriculture presentation of Century and Heritage Farm Awards. The First Place winners will also be recognized at the Presidents Dinner during the 2012 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Annual Meeting. Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, is currently serving as President of NASDA and will be hosting the association’s annual meeting in Des Moines September 12-17.

“Iowa’s land is breathtakingly beautiful and tremendously productive, and this competition is an opportunity to showcase both of those attributes and the wonderful artists who live here,” Northey said. “I hope all Iowans who have passion for art will consider taking the time to enter a piece in the competition.”

“Today’s farmer is diverse, innovative and striving to feed a growing world despite many challenges. Because of that, our farmers always look for opportunities to tell their stories to help people gain a better understanding of agriculture,” said Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. “This is a unique opportunity to see those stories expressed through an artist’s vision.”

The contest features cash prizes in both a Youth Division (ages 17 and under) and an Adult Division (ages 18 and over). Artwork will be judged on the innovation of concept and execution of contest theme and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work. The First Place winners in both the Youth and Adult divisions will receive $1,250, with Second and Third Place winners receiving $750 and $500, respectively.  The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is sponsoring the prizes.

“There is a long tradition in Iowa of honoring our land through our art,” says Mary Tiffany Cownie, Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “What better way to showcase that than to partner with our colleagues in the Department of Agriculture as well as our friends at Farm Bureau to highlight Iowa artists of all ages and encourage their talent.”

Contest entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges arranged by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Eligible participants must be Iowa residents working in 2D or 3D media (film, video, or installation work will not be accepted). All artwork must be original.

The top three pieces in each division will be on loan to the contest hosts for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Downtown Des Moines Marriott during the 2012 NASDA Annual Meeting.

A contest entry form and additional contest requirements including artwork specifications is available by visiting www.culturalaffairs.org or www.IowaAgriculture.gov. The deadline for submitted entries is July 13, 2012.

Inquiries regarding the contest may be directed to Veronica O’Hern, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Arts Council Division, at veronica.ohern@iowa.gov.

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The mission of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is to provide leadership for all aspects of agriculture in Iowa, ensure consumer protection and promote the responsible use of our natural resources.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council.

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.