Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Show


Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Department

To Enter the 2023 Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Competition click the Enter Current Calls button above (Entry Deadline of June 16, 2023) 



ENTRY BEGINS: June 1, 2023. PARTICIPANTS MUST ENTER ONLINE.  Click on the event tab above to register.  

Two painting opportunities will be offered; August 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and August 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • There will be fifteen painters allowed to paint at each session. The computer entry system will take the first 15 entries for each session.

  • You may only enter into one painting session.

  • Participants must be age 18 or older, and an Iowa resident.

  • The registration fee is $25. Registration will include a Fair entry ticket and a parking pass.

  • Artists must supply their own substrate, supplies and frame for displaying the art. The substrate must be blank at 9:00 a.m. on August 10th and 12th and be no larger than 18x24.

  • Artists must check in at the Fine Art Department, 3rd Floor Cultural Center, at 9:00 a.m. on the painting day.

  • Upon completion, artists will be required to fill out a form with the artist’s name, phone number, town of residence, title, medium, and to assign a sale price or not for sale designation.

  • Pieces must be completed and turned in by 5:00 p.m. at the Fine Art Office. They will be displayed for the remainder of the Fair.

  • Artists must work from subject matter at their assigned location. Location will be drawn from specific Fair locations.

  • Artists must use caution in setting up their work as to not restrict the flow of Fair traffic.

  • If artwork is priced for sale, the Fine Art staff will provide the artist’s contact information to interested parties. Delivery must take place after the work has been picked up from the Fairgrounds.

  • 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 the medium is pastel, watercolor or drawing, it must be framed and covered for protection.

  • If the substrate is canvas, the canvas should be ready to hang prior to being submitted at 5:00 p.m.

  • Adhere to all rules in the Return of Work rules below.

    • Work can be claimed at the Cultural Center on Sunday, August 20 between 7:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. However admission will be charged at the gate since other Fair activities continue on the Fairgrounds during these hours. Gate admission will be charged until 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 20. No entry after 9:00 p.m.

    • Work can also be claimed at the Cultural Center on Monday, August 21 between Noon and 6:00 p.m.

    • Note: at both times listed above the entrant, or his/her designated representative, must provide proof of identity to claim the artwork.

    • As an alternative beginning on Wednesday, August 23 and until Friday, September 1, entries can be picked up in the Administration Building. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27. (Please note: Entries will not be available for pick up on Tuesday, August 22.) After Friday, September 1, all unclaimed entries become the property of the Iowa State Fair and will be disposed of as necessary.


  • The submitted piece of work will be part of the “Plein Air at the Fair” Viewer’s Choice. The Fair public will cast their votes from August 13- August 19, for their favorite piece. 1st place will be awarded $125, 2nd place will be awarded $75 and 3rd place will be awarded $50.

  • Each piece will be assigned a unique entry number, which will be the number used for voting.

  • You may have two Fine Art entries and participate in one session of “Plein Air at the Fair”.