Cyclones at the Des Moines Arts Festival

A College of Design graduate student and two recent alumni are among 11 Emerging Iowa Artists selected to exhibit their work June 23-25 at the Des Moines Arts Festival.

In its 15th 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. Iowa residents currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a university, college or art school anywhere in the United States can participate in the program for up to two years.

Emerging artists

ISU integrated visual arts graduate student Xin Chen and 2016 alum Lauren Haylock will make their debut, and 2015 graduate Kayla Parker returns for the second consecutive year.

Chen, who holds a BFA with a focus on drawing, watercolor and photography from Shenyang Normal University, has devoted his efforts to handcrafted furniture and metal work. He derives inspiration from aspects of Chinese and American culture, including traditional Chinese musical instruments and Native American tattoos, and explores design motifs that reflect Eastern and Western cultural conflict and harmony.

Chen’s wood furniture is joined using rope and can be disassembled into individual pieces that represent other objects, such as a chair that can be transformed into the huqin, a traditional Chinese spike fiddle.

Haylock recently completed a yearlong apprenticeship as a bench jeweler for Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in West Des Moines and is now a self-employed artist in Winterset. She will exhibit a variety of metalwork from wearable silver filigree jewelry to functional brass art, she said.

Professional artists

Four more Design alumni -- Naomi Friend, Kristen Greteman, Jon Kamrath and Chris Vance -- are among the 180 professional visual artists chosen to participate in the Des Moines Arts Festival.

Greteman exhibited architectural and travel photography as an Emerging Iowa Artist in 2013 and won Best in Show in the category for her printmaking last year, which secured her a spot among the professional artists this year. She and Alex Braidwood, ISU assistant professor of graphic design, served on the five-member jury that selected both the professional and emerging artists for this year’s festival.

Artist demonstrations

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Several of the emerging and professional artists will share their work and techniques in demonstrations scheduled throughout the festival:

Friday, June 23

  • Jon Kamrath, booth LS37, 6-7 p.m.

Saturday, June 24

  • Lauren Haylock, booth 3, 2-3 p.m.
  • Xin Chen, booth 1, 5-6 p.m.

Sunday, June 25

  • Kayla Parker, booth 10, 2-3 p.m.