Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award winners announced

Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award winners announced

Michael Wilson of Urbandale and Gracie Lawson of Moulton take top honors in photos exhibited at Iowa State Fair.

 Michael Wilson of Urbandale and Gracie Lawson of Moulton are the winners of the fourth annual Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Award. The juried exhibition, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, recognizes Iowa artists and Iowa's role as a global leader in agriculture through the 2015 exhibition theme, "Women in Agriculture." The winners were announced during the recently concluded Iowa State Fair.

WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE: That was the theme of this year's Iowa Agricultural Art Awards contest. Winners were announced at the 2015 Iowa State Fair.

"These entries are one more way we can help all Iowans appreciate the beauty, character and historic significance of farming in this state," Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president Craig Hill said. "Not everyone gets a chance to experience the diversity of our landscape, so we are honored to have a role in bringing the beauty of Iowa agriculture to a wider audience."

Contest helps showcase the beauty of Iowa agriculture
In the Adult Division (ages 18 and over), Wilson won $1,500 in receiving the top honor for his painting, Evening Chores. Jan Krieger of Iowa City and Marji Guyler-Alaniz of Urbandale took second and third place, receiving $1,000 and $750 respectively.

In the Youth Division (ages 17 and under), Lawson won the $1,000 first-place prize for her drawing, The Dream Farm. Riley Konrad of Pleasantville and Elias James of Des Moines received second and third place, receiving $500 and $250 respectively.

"We are extremely pleased with all the artworks submitted," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. "The artists did a tremendous job of showcasing the natural beauty of our state as well as the farmers who care for the land."

Celebrating Iowa's landscape is a tradition of Iowa artists
"Honoring and celebrating the diversity and beauty of our land has been a long tradition among Iowa artists," Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. "Congratulations to this year's winners and participants, and we thank our colleagues at the Department of Ag and our friends at Farm Bureau for supporting this program."

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 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.

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The finalists' original artwork will be on display until Aug. 31, 2015, at Café Barattas in the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Following is the list of winners in the Adult and Youth divisions:

ADULT DIVISION
First Place: Michael Wilson, Urbandale ($1,500)
Second Place: Jan Krieger, Iowa City ($1,000)
Third Place: Marji Guyler-Alaniz, Urbandale  ($750)
Finalist: Nicole James, Des Moines ($200)
Finalist: Sandy Dyas, Des Moines ($200)

YOUTH DIVISION
First Place: Gracie Lawson, Moulton ($1,000)
Second Place: Riley Konrad, Pleasantville ($500)
Third Place: Elias James, Des Moines ($250)
Finalist: Magdalyn Baack, Carlisle ($100)
Finalist: Emma Konrad, Pleasantville  ($100)

For more information about the exhibition, contact Veronica O'Hern, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Arts Council Division, at [email protected].

* The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa-State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department's work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. www.culturalaffairs.org.

* 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 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. 

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