Naomi Friend, of Story City, won first place at the Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Exhibit this week.
Every year, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs hosts an annual Agriculture Art Exhibit. The exhibit and award program help to recognize Iowa artists and showcase Iowa’s role as a leader in agriculture.
Artists can apply to be chosen for the competition. In partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs selects the winning entries for the exhibit. The winners and finalists, who were announced Monday, receive a cash prize and this year, and had their art displayed at the State Historical Building of Iowa.
This year, Friend decided to apply with her signature cyanotype technique. Her piece, “Red Angus Cows,” ultimately won first place.
Attempts to reach Friend Wednesday were unsuccessful.
This isn’t the first time Friend was noticed for her art. Her work has been in solo and group shows across Iowa and Nebraska. Last year, pieces of her work from the “Restless Tenants” collection was on display at the Iowa Law Library in Des Moines.
The Agriculture Art Exhibition was an opportunity Friend was fit for. Her work resembles land and life based on the idea of farming. Many of her pieces include animals such as cattle, owls, rabbits and other creatures as they interact with their environment.
The Iowa native received her undergraduate degree in fine art and graphic design at Dort College. She then came to Iowa State University and received her master’s degree of fine art in integrated visual arts in 2013. Now she is a professional artist in central Iowa and continues to create new work while operating her farm, Friend Flowers, where she grows flowers for local markets.
Winners and finalists from the exhibit, including Friend, will have their art showcased at the State Historical Building of Iowa’s Café Baratta until Oct. 31.