Archive Mode. Call Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Show ended on 5/29/20, 11:59 PM. Call settings are read only. See Current Open Calls

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  • One image per work is permitted. Three-dimensional work may be represented by two images from different angles.
  • ALL images must be in .jpg format and Windows compatible.
  • All image files should be high resolution (300 dpi).
  • The Ideal image size is 2700px x 3600 px.
  • Please Note: The failure to a high resolution image will be taken into consideration by the jurors when the piece is judged. It MAY be regarded as a probable negative factor.
  • Entrants are encourages to take photographs of their work prior to framing the work, and if at all possible, in direct light.
  • An entry that is priced to sell will not be allowed to have the price altered after submitting the entry. 
Images of submitted works become the property of the Iowa State Fair as a permanent record of the exhibition and for promotional use relating to the exhibition.

If an actual object does not “match” the digital image which has been accepted, (i.e. if the digital image has been manipulated for appearance) then the actual object will not be accepted for exhibition.


Artist must be a resident of Iowa.

For work to be considered for this exhibition it must meet the following requirements:

  • It must not have been previously exhibited in the Fine Art Exhibition at the Iowa State Fair.
  • It must have been executed since 2018.
  • It must be original. This means that the entrant has used his or her own ideas. Copies of work created by other artists or photographers must not be used in any way, including downloading, reproducing, duplicating in exact form the ideas, techniques, or subject matter of other artists or photographers.

General rules listed on the Iowa State Fair website also apply in this department.


For work to be exhibited it must meet these requirements:

  • Be ready to display securely and safely. A sturdy wire must be attached to the back of the frame for hanging. We reserve the right to refuse work which has any of the following hanging devices: “sawtooth” hanging devices, cardboard backing materials with cardboard “cuts” for hanging, string, monofilament, scotch tape as a finishing material.
  • Meet size limitations listed below:
    • Adult two dimensional work may not exceed 52 inches in either direction.
    • Adult three dimensional work may not be larger than 60 inches in any direction.
    • Adult three dimensional work must be mounted on a suitable base, or wired or have other hanging arrangements. Work may not be excessively heavy or fragile.
    • Junior, Youth and Children works may not exceed 30 inches in any direction.
  • Surface finish and protection:
    • The work, if two dimensional and a pastel, or water color, or drawing or print must be framed, covered with glass or plexiglass for protection. Acetate is not a suitable protection.
    • All media must be dry when submitted for exhibition.


ADULT – persons age 19 and over, high school graduates regardless of age enter as adult (limit two entries)
YOUTH – persons age 14 to and including age 18 (limit two Fine Art entries)
JUNIOR – persons age 9 to and including age 13 (limit two Fine Art entries)
CHILDREN – persons age 3 to and including age 8 (limit one Fine Art entry)
Please note: All work submitted by children between the ages of 3 and 8 will be displayed. However, due to space limitations these young artists may submit only one piece of work.


1. ACRYLIC/ TEMPERA - This category inlcudes opaque mediums other than oil.
2. DRAWING - This category includes work rendered by hand with pencil, charcoal, ink, graphite or scratch board. It does NOT include digitally enhanced images.
3. FIBER - Handwoven and/or hand decorated textiles are eligible. All articles must be handcrafted by the entrant only. The category includes weaving, fiber construction, batik, tie dying, knotting, appliqué and trapunto. Work must be accompanied by a label for identification and ready to hang or install.
4. GLASS - The definition of this category has been expanded to include but not to be limited to hand blown glass, mouth blown glass or various forms of hot glass.
5. JEWELRY - Entries in this category should be primarily constructed of handcrated components using combinations of techniques such as casting, forging, handforming, carving, solder assemblage, cold connection, sawing and piercing, handmade glasswork and enameling. Found and pre-made objects may be included in the construction.
6. MIXED MEDIA - This category calls for art work which is created with more than one media, the use of which produces a fine art product that conveys a sense of depth and width but involves no actual physical depth, other than that created by illusion. (If the product involves actual physical depth, it may be submitted as a sculpture.)
8. PASTELS - Includes both dry and oil based pastels.
9. POTTERY - Includes handmade earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Delicately constructed work requiring more than normal careful handling should not be submitted.
10. ORIGINAL HAND PULLED PRINTS - This category refers to hand pulled prints in the traditional areas of printmaking such as relief printing, etching, intaglio, solarprints, monoprints, serigraphs. It does NOT refer to commercial reproduction processes such as the glicée print or computer  enhanced prints.
12. WATERCOLOR - This category includes pieces created with tranparent watercolor medium.  Including other mediums used transparently.


1. DRAWING – This category is for work that was created by hand with pencil, charcoal, ink graphite or scratch board. It does not include digitally created or enhanced images, or fluid ink.
2. PAINTING – This category is for work created with oil, acrylic, tempera, gouache, pastels, fluid ink or watercolor. The work can not contain more than one type of paint.
3. THREE-DIMENSIONAL – Entries in this category have three dimensional physical characteristics.
4. OTHER – Artwork that does not fit into drawing, painting or three-dimensional categories. Examples would be original computer generated, mixed media or jewelry. 


An email will be sent to entrants after the jury process is complete. Notification of results can be expected on June 19. A list of exhibitors who have one or more works accepted for display will be posted on the Iowa State Fair website at prior to the Reception. Complete results, including prizes, will be posted after the reception. The judges’ decisions are final.



  • Print receipt and attach to the upper left corner on the back of your artwork. If the work is three dimensional, attach receipt to the bottom of the object. (Receipt can be printed from My Submissions when logged on to
  • Include return postage in your package.
  • Ship to the following address to be received by Friday, JUNE 26:
    • Iowa State Fair
      Fine Art Exhibition
      Administration Building
      3000 East Grand Avenue
      Des Moines IA 50317
  • Shipped entries must be securely packed in reusable packages. MASKING TAPE SHOULD BE USED TO PROTECT GLASS FROM BREAKAGE IN TRANSIT. Work shipped in foam pellets or beads will not be accepted. Entries must be shipped prepaid. Crated entries will be returned to the entrant after September 1 if shipping costs are provided by the exhibitor.


  • Print receipt and attach to the upper left corner on the back of your artwork. If the work is three dimensional attach receipt to the bottom of the object. (Receipt can be printed from My Submissions when logged on to
  •  Deliver the work in person on Saturday, JUNE 27 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to the Cultural Center on the Fairgrounds.


The Management will use diligence to insure the safety of articles after their arrival and placement, but in no case will be responsible for any loss or damage that may occur before, during or after the Fair. This also applies to work NOT PICKED UP on Monday, August 24 between stated hours.