Dara Green didn’t grow up in Iowa but when the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation called, the art teacher knew something special was about to happen for her Central Academy pottery students.
“Our students will now be a part of Iowa history,” said Green. “It is a very big deal.”
The Foundation asked Green and her students to design and produce the 27th piece in the Iowa State Fair’s collectable pottery series. The team went right to work.
“Our goal was to create something more contemporary that would appeal to new collectors while complimenting people’s State Fair pottery collections they have invested in for years,” said Green.
The result of their collaboration was a carafe 9″ tall and 4″ wide. The design, which the fair website describes as a “unique piece with the cobalt blue embellishments and creamy clay body” is embossed with the Iowa State Fair stamp and comes in three varieties. They are a limited edition with only 450 available for sale at the Fair.
“I think these are gorgeous,” said Robin Taylor with the Blue Ribbon Foundation. “People who buy the collectable Iowa State Fair pottery are showing their love for the fair and supporting the renovation and preservation of the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds.”
Students, staff, and family volunteers met weekly in April through June, and then throughout the week over the summer to produce the Blue Ribbon 2022 Collectable Pots, which will be on sale for $45 in four places on the fairgrounds:
- Robert & Sheri Avis Horner Service Center – located on the Grand Concourse between the Varied Industries Building and the Administration Building
- John Deere Agriculture Building in a booth on lower east floor near the butter cow
- John & Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn in a booth inside the central foyer using the Rock Island St. entrance
- Jacobson Hall (Museum) by Pioneer Hall..
The Central Academy pottery program sold the carafes to the foundation for a profit. Green calls it a double fundraiser benefiting both the Foundation and the pottery program.
“The students who so selflessly helped with this project will help choose how we spend money for the studio,” Green said.
More good news. Green and her students have been asked to be part of the project again next year. It’s another opportunity for students to not only learn an art form, but a business model that could inspire some future entrepreneurs.
“Our pottery students work very hard at their craft, and this is just one of the ways for them to share their talents with our community,” Green said. “We hope that more DMPS students, families and community members become familiar with who we are and the great things happening at our DMPS pottery studio.”