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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Arts Festival® is set to host one of the nation's most competitive visual arts jury processes on December 4-6, 2013 in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Five members of the local and national arts community will serve as jurors to select the 185 artists from the 1,125 applicants who will be invited to exhibit their work in the Juried Art Fair presented by Bank of America on June 27-29, 2014, in downtown Des Moines' Western Gateway Park.
Carla Fox, Ann Pifer, Aaron Tinder, Don McWhorter, and R. Michael Wommack will view over 6,700 images over the three-day jury. Applications were received in 12 mediums from artists in 44 states and five countries. In addition to the professional visual artists, the jury will select those artists to be invited to exhibit as part of the Emerging Iowa Artist program. The Emerging Iowa Artist (EIA) program, presented by Principal Financial Group®, offers a unique opportunity for visual artists who are Iowa residents and currently enrolled in an institution of higher education to showcase their talents at one of the nation's most decorated arts festivals.
McWhorter and Wommack were invited to be part of the five-person panel because they were award winners at the 2013 Festival and are automatically invited to return as a result. Both were Award of Excellence winners. These two will jury the entire field of applicants with the full panel this week. The remaining three jurors will also return in June to adjudicate those exhibiting to determine awards.
The Festival invites applying artists to view their images as part of the projected ZAPPlication system on Wednesday evening at the Arthur Davis Conference Center inside the Greater Des Moines Partnership building. Jurors will begin the three-day process by previewing all images and applications in an evening session open to applying artists. The entire jury process will take place over three days beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 4. During this time, the five-person jury will view and score 6,708 artist images. Selected artists for next year’s Festival will be announced on December 12.
The Festival process involves the preview, along with scoring artists through the first round. The jury uses a 1 - 7 scoring system for the first round. After the first round, artists are "voted" through by the jury to the next round. The rounds continue until the final show is composed. Jurors view a set of six images that are projected through high-powered projectors. Five of the images are of the artist's work and the sixth is the artist's booth. The entire process will be updated throughout the three days on the Festival's Facebook page - Facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival.
The Jury -
Carla Fox has been a jewelry & show artist for over 20 years. Previous to that she owned a company designing and installing fabric and metal sculptures in commercial spaces. She has been the director of a Portland, Oregon art guild’s show and sale-for 3 years, helped produce an all-metals show, and for the past six years has been director of Art in the High Desert Art Show, in Bend, Oregon. She is active in metal’s guilds, an advocate & community organizer for the visual arts in Bend, Oregon.
Ann Ruhr Pifer is the owner of The Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, MN. The gallery focuses on fine American craft in mediums including clay, metal, wood, fiber (including wearable art), glass and jewelry. The gallery has been named a “Top Retailer” of American craft by NICHE magazine, and has been featured in American Craft, NICHE, Minnesota Monthly, and Midwest Home.
Aaron Tinder is an artist and educator working in the Des Moines area. He received a BA in Art Education from Simpson College and an MFA in Painting & Drawing from Northern Illinois University, and has taught art at all levels from elementary to undergraduate. He is currently employed as Professor of Art at Grand View University, where he teaches primarily drawing, painting and art education courses. Aaron’s work has been shown in many juried exhibitions locally and nationally; recent highlights include the Quad-State Biennial at the Quincy Art Center in Illinois, and the International Drawing Annual at Manifest Gallery in Ohio.
Don McWhorter has been a full time independent studio clay artist since 1973. In 1975, he graduated with a BA in studio art with a concentration in ceramics from the University of West Georgia. Working most recently with wheelthrown and altered forms, Don has won, over the past two years, seven Best of Clay awards and two for Best in Show, as well as an Award of Excellence at the 2013 Des Moines Arts Festival®. In his home community of Carrollton, Georgia, Don serves as a board member for The Cultural Arts Alliance and was named the 2010 Georgia Volunteer of the Year for the Arts.
R. Michael Wommack received his BFA from the Tyler School of Art after attending the first session of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School of the Arts. Early in his career he worked as a muralist for many private and governmental clients, many of the murals measuring 15 x 60 feet. His most recent exhibits include one person shows at Rowan University and The George School, and the most recent “Bucks County Artists – a Cross Section at BCCC” as well as the juried “Victory for Tyler/ Works on Paper at the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia. His work is included in many private collections across the country and has received multiple awards, including a 2013 Award of Excellence from the Des Moines Arts Festival®.
The Des Moines Arts Festival® is presented by Register Media, founded by the Des Moines Art Center and produced by Downtown Events Group and sponsored by Bravo Greater Des Moines, Prairie Meadows and Principal Financial Group®. The Juried Art Fair is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For more information on the Des Moines Arts Festival® visit www.desmoinesartsfestival.org.
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