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Juried Art Fair

The centerpiece of the Des Moines Arts Festival is the highly competitive Juried Art Fair presented by Nationwide. Festival artists are selected through a rigorous, industry acclaimed blind jury process that takes place over the course of multiple days. The process is completed by five jurors who are privy to images of the artwork with associated pricing, booth images and an artist statement. No other information is provided to them. This intensive process results in a collection of vibrant, innovative, and masterful original works of art. The wide array of art in every medium is what attracts Festival guests year after year, who annually spend more than one million dollars on art at the Festival.


The Weight We Carry 

Clifton Henri

Chicago, IL


2024 invited artists

Coming March 7 after the conclusion of REVEAL


Emerging Iowa Artists presented by Principal

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 Application Information

Applications Available on ZAPPlication - October 31, 2023

Application Deadline - Soft deadline is January 15, 2024. Hard deadline is January 22.

Jury is scheduled for February 7-9, 2024

Notifications Emailed on March 7, 2024 following REVEAL

Deadline to confirm participation/Agreement Due - March 31, 2024

Refund Deadline is May 1, 2024

Festival Dates are June 28-30, 2024


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