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ISA senior wins Best in Show in 2014 Biorenewables Art Competition

May 06, 2014

Natalie Buskohl won Best in Show for "Momento Mori." Photo by Heather Sauer.
Daniel Dolash won 1st place with "Natural Rights." Photo by Heather Sauer.
Eric Rolek and Guillermo Thompson were awarded 2nd place for "Bioluminance." Photo by Sara Parks.
Ashley Hogenson took 3rd place with "Fusion." Photo by Sara Parks.


AMES, Iowa — Natalie Buskohl, a senior in integrated arts at Iowa State University, won the Best in Show award in the 5th Annual Biorenewables Art Competition sponsored by the ISU Bioeconomy Institute (BEI).

Several awards were announced at a reception on Earth Day, April 22, at the university's Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL).

Buskohl, Waterloo, received a $750 cash prize for her mixed-media artwork, "Memento Mori" (tree roots, baltic birch plywood, acrylic, glass, biochar, algae, pine chips, corn stalk, stover, polyurethane), which will become a part of the BEI's permanent collection.

In the statement that accompanies her piece, Buskohl said, "I wanted this piece to be a reminder that we are a part of nature not apart from it."

Other award winners included integrated studio arts seniors Daniel Dolash, Altoona, first place ($350), "Natural Rights" (watercolor and acrylic on wood and found objects); Eric Rolek, Waukee, and Guillermo Thompson, Ames, second place ($250), "Bioluminance" (bioplastic, blue dye, light-emitting diode); and Ashley Hogenson, Muscatine, third place ($150), "Fusion" (acrylic on board).

Twenty-two Iowa State students submitted 26 artworks to this year's competition, which is open to those enrolled in integrated studio arts (undergraduate) and integrated visual arts (graduate) courses in the College of Design. Entries must reflect the Bioeconomy Institute's mission of "economic, environmental and social sustainability to advance development of biorenewable resources for the production of materials, fuels, energy and chemicals." Prizes are sponsored by BEI Director Robert C. Brown.

Jurors for the 2014 competition were Chris Vance, Sara Merritt and Laura Jarboe. Vance is an independent artist from Bondurant who holds a bachelor of fine arts in visual studies from Iowa State. He also served as a juror for the 2013 competition.

Merritt is an educational specialist at Reiman Gardens and vice president of the Ames Community Arts Council. She holds a master of fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Jarboe is the Karen and Denny Vaughn Assistant Professor in chemical and biological engineering at Iowa State.

In her remarks at the public reception, Merritt observed that the top entries had "a wonderful aesthetic appeal and visual power while tying in the message of the Bioeconomy Institute."

All entries in this year's competition will be displayed in the BRL lobby until March 2015. Viewing hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; the building is closed weekends and university holidays.

In addition to the award recipients, artists with work in the exhibition include:

Graphic design
Katrina Garagiola, Burr Ridge, Ill., junior

Integrated studio arts
Kathleen Albright, Burlington, senior
David Chadd, Coggon, junior
Maria Finch, Des Moines, senior
Elizabeth Fisher, Des Moines
Caroline Freese, Indianola, junior
Bailey Goodwin, Sioux City, junior
Madison Haws, Ankeny, senior
Rachel Horn, Adel, junior
Leah Koolstra, Pella, senior
Sara Madison, Council Bluffs, junior
Katharine Schmidt, Sioux City, junior
Teresa Ward, Coggon, senior

Post-baccalaureate certificate in integrated studio arts
Kyle Renell, Ames

Integrated visual arts
Alexis Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.
Nick Friess, Jefferson
Josianne Ishikawa, Des Moines

Robert Mills, Bioeconomy Institute, (515) 294-4459,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,