Council Bluffs and Milford Artists Take First Place in Agriculture Art Exhibition Contest

    DES MOINES – Marcia Joffe-Bouska of Council Bluffs and Allison Goehring of Milford were named winners of the sixth annual “Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition” contest today at the Iowa State Fair.

    Joffe-Bouska took first place and $1,500 in the Adult Division (ages 18 and older) with her mixed-media piece, "Specimen, 2014," while Goehring took the top spot and $1,000 in the Youth Division (ages 17 and younger) with her acrylic painting, "Grateful for Goats, 2017." Sarah Bozaan of North Liberty took second in the Adult Division, and Katrina VanDeWalle of Dixon took second in the Youth Division.

    The Agriculture Art Exhibit is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and it recognizes Iowa artists and Iowa's role as a global leader in agriculture. The exhibit is coordinated by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

    “Our state’s natural beauty, the farmers that care for the land, our crops and our animals have long been an inspiration for talented artists to create wonderful artwork," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. "This tradition continues with the outstanding pieces that are part of this exhibit. I congratulate all this year’s artists for the extraordinary work and encourage Iowans to visit the exhibition and view these pieces."

    “Iowa artists have a long history of honoring the beauty and diversity of Iowa's rural landscapes and agriculture in their works," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. "Their talent continues with this year's exhibit, and we thank the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation for partnering with us to showcase Iowa artists of all ages."

    “Agriculture is more diverse than ever and is a part of our lives in Iowa, even beyond food, fuel and fiber," Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill said. "We are encouraged to see how these talented artists are able to show that success, while celebrating the dedication of the men and women who helped us reach that success, through hard work, integrity and compassion.”

    The entries were judged on innovation, relevance to the contest theme, and overall aesthetic and technical quality. Participants had to be Iowa residents working in 2D media. The winning entries were judged by officials from the three sponsoring organizations.

    The finalists’ original artwork is on display through Oct. 30 at Café Baratta's in the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines.

    The list of winners, finalists and cash awards announced today in the Adult and Youth divisions follows:

    Adult Division

    • First Place: Marcia Joffe-Bouska, Council Bluffs, ($1,500)
    • Second Place: Sarah Bozaan, North Liberty ($1,000)
    • Third Place: Naomi Friend, Story City ($750)
    • Finalist: Danielle Clouse Gast, Spirit Lake ($200)
    • Finalist: Melinda Stockwell, Birmingham ($200)
    • Honorable Mention: Johnny Brian, Iowa City ($100)
    • Honorable Mention: Mallory Early, Leon ($100)

    Youth Division

    • First Place: Allison Goehring, Milford ($1,000)
    • Second Place: Katrina VanDeWalle, Dixon ($500)
    • Third Place: Elias James, Des Moines ($250)

    This event is part of a series of programs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Arts Council, which proudly supports artists, arts organizations and communities in every corner of the state. 

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    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.

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