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Emerging Iowa Artists

The Emerging Iowa Artist (EIA) 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 headquartered 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 consideration. If you are interested in being considered for the exhibition, contact Stephen King via email at



2024 Emerging Iowa Artists

Micah Ferin, Johnston, IA

Lisa Ellingworth, Waverly, IA

Carly McCoy, Ankeny, IA

Audrey Stirling, Runnells, IA

Heath Wheeldon, Pleasant Hill, IA

2024 Emerging Artists

Pam Hibbs, Des Moines, IA

Betsy Rudicil, Des Moines, IA

Annette Silkwood, Saint Charles, MO

Robin Whalan, Huston, TX

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