IAC Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 15, 2012

Contact:

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 winners announced

Larry Mendenhall of Altoona and Erika Matsuyama of Ankeny take top honors

(DES MOINES, Iowa) —Larry Mendenhall of Altoona and Erika Matsuyama of Ankeny were named winners of the inaugural Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award contest at the Iowa State Fair.

The contest, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, is a juried competition of artwork that innovatively celebrates the natural beauty of Iowa and its role as a global leader in agriculture.

“The entries are a testament to the artistic vision and beauty of our state and we are honored to be a part of such a noble endeavor, bringing Iowa’s beauty to a larger audience,” IFBF President Craig Hill said.

In the Adult Division (ages 18 and over), Mendenhall received the top honor for his photograph, Summer Storm. Lori Miller of Eldridge and Sandy Dyas of Iowa City took second and third place, respectively.

In the Youth Division (ages 17 and under), Matsuyama won first place for her painting, Domination Celebration. Aleyna Moeller of West Des Moines and Trent Williamson of Earlham received second and third place, respectively.

Mendenhall and Matsuyama received $1,250 each and will 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 host the association’s annual meeting in Des Moines Sept. 12-17, 2012. Second place winners received $750 and third place winners received $500. Iowa Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the prizes.

“We were very pleased with all the pieces submitted and the artists did a tremendous job showcasing Iowa and the natural beauty of our state as the farmers that care for the land,” Northey said.

“Iowa artists have a long history of capturing the beauty of our land and this contest strengthens that tradition,” DCA Director Mary Cownie said. “I congratulate all the artists who participated, and we thank our colleagues at the Department of Agriculture as well as our friends at Farm Bureau for supporting this program.”

The juried competition received 75 entries – 65 in the Adult Division and 10 in the Youth Division – and artists from 45 Iowa communities were represented. The entries were judged on innovation of concept and execution of contest theme and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work. Eligible participants had to be Iowa residents working in 2D or 3D media. The winning entries were judged by officials from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Fairgoers can see images of the winning artwork at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s booth in the Varied Industries Building on the State Fairgrounds. The 13 finalist-entries are currently on display at Café Baratta’s at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The top three pieces in each division will be on loan to the contest hosts for exhibition at 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.

Following is the list of winners in the Adult and Youth divisions:

ADULT DIVISION
First Place: Larry Mendenhall, Altoona
Second Place: Lori Miller, Eldridge
Third Place: Sandy Dyas, Iowa City

YOUTH DIVISION
First Place: Erika Matsuyama, Age 17, Ankeny
Second Place: Aleyna Moeller, Age 15, West Des Moines
Third Place: Trent Williamson, Age 11, Earlham

For more information about the contest, contact 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.