The search for artists to be honored in the sixth annual "Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibition" competition is underway.
The contest is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
Entries are due by July 1 and must be original works.
According to information provided by IDALS, awards for those artworks deemed winners by a panel of judges arranged for by the Iowa Arts Council will be presented at the Iowa State Fair in August.
The winning entries will be displayed at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines from August through October. There will also be cash prizes totaling $5,600.
The competition accepts entries from people of all ages. To encourage budding young artists to submit their works, there is a youth division open to participants age 17 or younger.
The superb creations of youthful artists have been a high point in years past and seem almost certain to be an outstanding part of the 2017 contest.
"This exhibit has been well received since its inception and continues to be a great success," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said in a statement issued in late February. "We thank the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Farm Bureau for partnering with us, and we look forward to seeing what Iowa artists submit this year."
His enthusiasm was echoed by Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie.
"Iowans have honored the beauty and diversity of our land through art long before we were even a state," she said.
Celebrating the beauty of the Hawkeye State and the important role of agriculture in the economic and cultural life of Iowa is a commendable pursuit.
In past years, the talent shown by our state's artists has proved to be exceptional and inspiring.
Farm News applauds this superb competition.
We look forward to seeing the new artwork that will be generated as a result of this year's call for entries.