Land-grants on the mall

Youngsters recompose a Grant Wood mural

Youngsters help recompose panels from the Grant Wood mural, familiar to Parks Library users. More festival photos.  Photo by Kanji Takeno.

It was a busy couple of weeks for Iowa Staters staffing the university's exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. An estimated one million visitors braved the 100-plus degree temperatures to attend the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in late June and early July.

Leath at D.C. festival

President Leath talks with C. Arthur Croyle, associate professor of integrated studio arts. Other visitors included executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman and Engineering dean Jonathan Wickert. Photo by Kanji Takeno.

One piece of this year's festival celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which laid the foundation for land-grant universities. Iowa State was one of 17 universities selected to represent the land-grants.

Iowa was the first state to accept the terms of the historic Morrill Act, so it was fitting that Iowa State be a part of the national celebration, said Cathann Kress, vice president for extension and outreach.

Iowa State's exhibit showed how faculty, staff and students have applied design thinking to help Iowa communities solve problems. The partnership between the College of Design and ISU Extension and Outreach was echoed throughout the interactive exhibit

See exhibit at state fair, Farm Progress Show

The exhibit will be on display again at the Iowa State Fair (Des Moines, Aug. 9-19) and the Farm Progress Show (Boone, Aug. 28-30). 

Project leaders

Iowa State's project was led by Chitra Rajan, associate vice president for research; Cathann Kress, vice president for extension and outreach; and Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design. Sandra Norvell, Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, coordinated the project development. David Ringholz, associate professor and chair of industrial design, led the exhibit design team. Lisa Fontaine, associate professor of graphic design, led the exhibit content team. Information Technology Services provided technical assistance. More than a dozen people staffed the exhibit.


Lincoln quote and overview of the exhibit electronic board

Visitors stop by Iowa State's exhibit in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Kanji Takeno.