AMES, Iowa — From the 4-H horse competition to the pie-eating contest, from the Central Iowa Tractor Club display to the midway rides, Iowa State University students will record their impressions of the diversity and excitement that make the Iowa State Fair memorable and share their work with visitors to this year’s event.

Five students majoring in biological/pre-medical illustration, integrated studio arts, integrated visual arts and industrial design will participate in “Artists Next Door at the Iowa State Fair,” organized by the ISU College of Design in collaboration with ISU Extension and Outreach.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 12-18, two student artists per day will set up easels in different locations at the fairgrounds, drawing the activities around them and talking with passersby about how they translate what they see into art.

“We’ll be sketching the things we see in front of us at the fair—the food, the livestock and the fairgoers themselves,” said Taylor Carlson, Ames, an integrated visual arts graduate student who is coordinating the Artists Next Door. “Some students may be doing longer studies, while others will do more rapid sketching. The goal is to show Iowans how artists work and help demystify the art process.”

Fairgoers will be able to watch the student artists drawing—using charcoal, marker and pen—and engage in conversation about the artistic process as it happens, Carlson said. “We want to show them that art is fun and accessible and something that students ‘right next door’ to them are doing every day, contributing to the vibrancy of the state.”

Artists Next Door

In addition to Carlson, participating students include:

Michael Day, Bettendorf, senior in industrial design
Seth Karp, St. Paul, Minn., senior in biological/pre-medical illustration
Brice Voss, Spirit Lake, senior in industrial design
Nathan West, Rockwell City, senior in integrated studio arts

Sites and events where students will be located include:

  • Friday, Aug. 12
    • Elwell Family Food Center, Judging Rooms 1-4
    • Grand Concourse: Classic Car Display
  • Saturday, Aug. 13
    • John Deere Agriculture Building: Gingerbread Building, Rose Show (10 a.m.), Honey and Beekeeping (11 a.m.), Flower Show (noon)
    • Farm Bureau Pioneer Hall: Fiddle/Guitar/Mandolin Contests (1 p.m.)
  • Sunday, Aug. 14
    • Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building: Robotics Competition (10 a.m.)
    • Pigeon/Poultry/Rabbit Building: Chicken Washing and Blow Drying Demo (1 p.m.)
  • Monday, Aug. 15
    • Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center: Horse Show (11 a.m.)
    • Bob and Deb Pulver Outdoor Arena: Beef Cattle Show (1 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16
    • Farm Bureau Pioneer Hall: Beard Growing Contest (10:30 a.m.)
    • Expo Hill: Bistrevsky Brothers Variety Show (noon)
    • Midway: Rides
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17
    • Anne and Bill Riley Stage: Marvelous Hat Contest (11 a.m.)
    • Grand Concourse: Central Iowa Tractor Club Display
    • Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center: Horse Show (1 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 18
    • Anne and Bill Riley Stage: Pie Eating Contest (10:30 a.m.)
    • Elwell Family Food Center, Judging Rooms 1-4

Students will wear cardinal-and-gold Artists Next Door t-shirts and name tags identifying themselves to the public. Each day’s work will be presented as part of Iowa State’s exhibit on a wall in the Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building.

Taylor Carlson, Integrated Visual Arts, (319) 432-1707, tbuckley@iastate.edu
Ingrid Lilligren, Art and Visual Culture, (515) 294-8883, ililligr@iastate.edu
Mitchell Hoyer, ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1531, mhoyer@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu