ISU College of Design student, alumni to exhibit work at 2015 Des Moines Arts Festival


AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University graduate student and three recent graduates are among 12 Emerging Iowa Artists selected to exhibit their work June 26-28 at the Des Moines Arts Festival.

In its 13th year, the Emerging Iowa Artists program provides young visual artists an opportunity to showcase their talent at one of the nation's top arts festivals, which annually attracts more than 200,000 visitors. Artists can participate in the program for up to two years.

Graphic design graduate student Karen Doty, originally from Colfax and now living in Des Moines, and integrated studio arts alumna Liz Fisher, Des Moines, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014, will make their debut this year. Emily Baxter, Ames, and Sarah Lokenvitz, originally from Charles City and now living in Ankeny, are returning. Both Baxter and Lokenvitz received BFA degrees in integrated studio arts from Iowa State in 2013.

Hope chest (walnut, wormy red oak, reclaimed barn siding, water jet-cut custom-designed steel handles and hinges) by Sarah Lokenvitz.

"Last year I was a bundle of nerves for months beforehand trying to get everything in line," Lokenvitz said. "The biggest thing that has helped this year is knowing how the show runs."

"Hereafter" (ink, gouache, watercolor) by Karen Doty.

Lokenvitz will exhibit handcrafted wood furniture and pyrography (woodburning) projects as well as black-and-white and color photography featuring landscapes and found objects.

"It is a good opportunity to get my name out there, but it's the experience that matters and not how much you sell. I'm going into this show standing behind my work and just hoping to have a good time," she said.

For Doty—a mixed-media artist with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and BFA in visual communication from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, who will graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design and a certificate in human computer interaction from Iowa State in August—participating in the Des Moines Arts Festival has been a long-term goal.

The Emerging Iowa Artists program will allow her to showcase the work she's completed as a grad student in the ISU College of Design, she said.

Much of Doty's work mixes graphic design and illustrative elements. She often begins designs with watercolor and gouache, then scans and edits the images digitally in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, she said.

"My work at the Des Moines Arts Festival will include original pieces created on textured paper in addition to imagery printed on metal," Doty said. "The theme and style of work I'm presenting were inspired by a book I created for ISU graphic design professor Paula Curran's book design class."

Sterling silver pierced cuff by Emily Baxter. Photo by George Ensley.

Baxter will display women's earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings and men's rings. She works primarily with sterling silver and semi-precious stones.

"I took note of what types of jewelry sold best last year, and I learned how much time I need to set everything up and what other additions I can bring to have a successful booth space," Baxter said.

"This year I'll also have a portfolio of work I've done in the past to show people if they want something custom and I’ll bring stones with me as well for potential custom orders."

"Blue Lotus" pendant (pierced oxidized copper, turquoise, silver infinity chain) by Liz Fisher.

Fisher is excited to participate in the Emerging Iowa Artists program "as a means to jump-start my career as a fine artist and sculptor," she said.

"I wanted to push myself to show work at a national level and allow myself the opportunity to communicate with other artists in my field, make connections and get inspired by individuals of my own age as well."

Fisher will display earrings, pendants and rings as well as a few sculptural metal pieces she completed while studying at Iowa State. She works with brass, copper, silver and a myriad of natural materials including stones, crystals and petrified wood.

Two other ISU College of Design alumni—jewelry designer Carrie Hoffnagle, Minneapolis, who received a BFA in integrated studio arts and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication in 2006, and contemporary painter Chris Vance, Bondurant, who received a BFA in visual studies in 2000—are among the 190 professional artists chosen to participate in the 2015 Des Moines Arts Festival. This is Hoffnagle's third appearance and Vance's 11th.

Hours and demos
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 28. The emerging artists will share their work and techniques in demonstrations scheduled throughout the festival:

Friday, June 26, noon–1 p.m.
Doty will demonstrate how to layer watercolor/gouache over ink-drawn silhouettes on textured paper. She will also have some of her printed-metal pieces available and show a recording of her digital techniques on an iPad.

Saturday, June 27, 2-3 p.m.
Baxter will demonstrate how she pierces silver and how to bezel-set a stone.

Saturday, June 27, 5-6 p.m.
Fisher will present a piercing demonstration to show how she designs and lays out a pattern to be cut into a flat sheet of metal.

Sunday, June 28, 1-2 p.m.
Lokenvitz will demonstrate her pyrography techniques.

For more information on the event, visit the Des Moines Arts Festival website.

Emily Baxter, (651) 270-5132,
Karen Doty, Graphic Design,
Liz Fisher, (515) 441-4223,
Sarah Lokenvitz,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,