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emerging iowa artists

The Emerging Iowa Artist Program presented by Principal® is a juried showcase of promising visual artists that delivers a pathway into the established competitive career within the visual art industry. It aims to foster professional and artistic development while nurturing creative skills.

The program was launched in 2003 when G. David Hurd, Chairman and CEO of Principal Financial Group (now Principal), envisioned the next generation of artistry and artists. The program has provided opportunity for over 200 pre-professional artists. Some of our past artists include Ben Schuh (painter and muralist), Stephanie Brunia (photography, Iowa Arts Council Fellow), Katie Waugh (photography, sculpture, video). The EIA program is made possible by Principal. Principal is a global financial investment management and insurance company headquarterd in Des Moines.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be Iowa residents currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within one year) from a university, college or art school anywhere in the country. Individuals can participate in the EIA program for two years (either consecutively or non-consecutively). Because of financial support from Principal, this program is free to qualified artists. There is no charge to submit images for the jury or for booth space once the work is accepted by the jury.

Qualified artists are required to apply to the show in the same manner as professional artists and submit their work in accordance to the specifications. All applicants are required to provide at the time of application proof of residency and enrollment. All work submitted is juried by the same jury. The Festival jury will select the emerging artists separately from the Festival artists. And in June, the Awards Jury will jury all exhibiting artists and award an emerging artist the Leysens Family Best of Emerging Iowa Artist Award. The award comes with a $1,000 cash award and an automatic invitation to the 2023 Festival.

For information on applying to the Festival, click here.

For more information about the program, contact Stephen King.




The Emerging Iowa Artist program is made possible because of the generous financial support from
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