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20 Artists, 20 Parks

Kristen Greteman photographing Wildcat Den State Park and Rob Wallace conducting a woodturning demonstration at Lake Darling State Park

20 Artists, 20 Parks

Iowa’s park system began 100 years ago when Backbone State Park was dedicated on May 28, 1920, and has grown to encompass 72 parks and forests across the state. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Iowa state parks in 2020, 20 faculty and graduate student artists from three of Iowa State University’s colleges — Design, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences — were matched with 20 state parks and created artwork during summer residencies from April through August 2019. 

State parks selected for the project represent diverse ecological, geological and cultural experiences that make Iowa unique. Exhibitions featuring the paintings, sculptures, textiles and other art forms inspired by the parks toured the state throughout 2020-2021.

"20 Artists, 20 Parks" is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural ResourcesIowa State University College of Design, and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Featured Iowa Artists and State Parks

  • Clark Colby - Stephens State Forest, Chariton
  • Jennifer Drinkwater - Pine Lake State Park, Eldora
  • Nathan Edwards - Yellow River State Forest, Harpers Ferry
  • Firat Erdim - Lake Macbride State Park, Solon
  • Carol Faber - Stone State Park, Sioux City
  • Kristen Greteman - Wildcat Den State Park, Muscatine
  • Amy Harris - Lake of Three Fires State Park, Bedford
  • Brent Holland - Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa
  • Kimberly Moss - Backbone State Park, Dundee
  • Joe Muench - Mines of Spain State Park, Dubuque
  • Deborah Pappenheimer - Walnut Woods State Park, West Des Moines
  • Anna Segner - Rock Creek State Park, Kellogg
  • Celinda Stamy - Palisades-Kepler State Park, Mt. Vernon
  • Austin Stewart and Omar De Kok-Mercado - Brushy Creek State Park, Lehigh
  • Paula Streeter - Gull Point State Park, Milford
  • Nancy Thompson - Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, Keosauqua
  • Olivia Valentine - Viking Lake State Park, Stanton
  • Rob Wallace - Lake Darling State Park, Brighton
  • Barbara Walton - Pikes Peak State Park, McGregor
  • Christopher Yanulis - Pilot Knob State Park, Forest City

Learn more about the artists and their state parks.


'20 Artists, 20 Parks' Programs

View the full event calendar for upcoming "20 Artists, 20 Parks" programming.


Visit the Parks

The 20 state parks are included as a Featured Tour on the Iowa Culture mobile app, a free and interactive tool to discover arts, history and cultural destinations across Iowa. More information about how to visit the parks is on the app. Download the free mobile app from Apple or Google Play stores or launch the desktop version.