AMES, Iowa — Three artists affiliated with the Iowa State University College of Design took home top awards in the Octagon Center for the Arts’ “50th Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood National All-Media Exhibit.”

Juror Peter Pinnell, a professor of art at the University of Nebraska, announced the awards at a reception Friday, Jan. 26. The show is on display through April 7 in the Octagon’s Main and Sweeney Galleries, 427 Douglas Ave., Ames.

Best of Show

Robert Jinkins, a graduate student in integrated visual arts from Rewey, Wisconsin, won the Winifred V. Brown Best of Show award sponsored by the Brown Endowment Fund for his painting “Immigrant: Symphony in Sepia.”

“This is a portrait of a friend who was originally from Mexico standing behind a rough wall of one of my old studio spaces. This painting started life as a kind of experiment in representation coexisting with abstraction,” Jinkins said in his artist’s statement. “The splattered and battered wall behind the figure symbolizes and celebrates the inherent frictions and clashes within diverse approaches culturally and representationally.”

Inspired by the earth-tone palette of the ancient Greek painter Apelles, Jinkins used raw earth pigments from natural materials, which “often have a more unpredictable and unique coloring and texture than many more commercially available paints possess,” he said.

Photo Media Award

Des Moines photographer and ISU alumnus Jon Lemons won the Photo Media Award sponsored by the Octagon Board of Trustees for “Dottie’s,” a “street” photograph he shot with his medium-format film camera of two similarly-dressed women having breakfast at Dottie’s Café in Dubuque.

“The pair looked to be completing a habitual tradition in a timeless setting,” he said in his statement, noting that he “aims to connect people with [my] photography through experiences and stories from day-to-day life” and “inspire viewers to learn about the people and environments that surround them.”

Lemons received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in integrated studio arts with a double major in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State in 2009. He is a video production specialist with the Des Moines Public Schools.

Honorable mention

College of Design alumna and faculty member Carol Faber, Ames, an associate professor of graphic design, received an honorable mention sponsored by Haila Architecture for her “Colorado Rock” digital photograph.

“The images used to make this piece were photographed near Boulder, Colorado. I used rock surfaces and landscape combined digitally to emphasize the various colored surfaces,” she said. “It is my memory of how something as simple as stone can impact one’s experience of a place: rich with color, majestic formations and magic.”

Faber holds a Master of Arts in drawing, painting and printmaking (1990) and a Master of Fine Arts in integrated visual arts (2004) from Iowa State. “Colorado Rock” also was awarded “Best Color Work Award” in the “Color of Korea ‘Natural Color’ Exhibition: 2017 International Invitational Exhibition of Color Works” at Hangaram Art Gallery in Seoul, South Korea.


Kristen Greteman, Octagon Center for the Arts, (515) 232-5331, ext. 222, exhibits@octagonarts.org
Carol Faber, Graphic Design, (515) 294-4703, chfaber@iastate.edu
Jon Lemons, Photographer, photo.lemons@gmail.com
Robert Jinkins, Integrated Visual Arts graduate student, jinkinsr@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu