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Art in the BRL

Recently installed light and resin mural entitled Bioquilt by local artisan Reinaldo Correa Diaz.
BIOquilt, 2022
Artist: Reinaldo Correa-Diaz, Iowa State University Assistant Teaching Professor of Architecture & Industrial Design
Medium: Wood, resin, aluminum, prairie biomass, wildlife, LED lighting
Dimensions:162 x 48 x 3 in.

New Art Acquisitions Recently Installed

Join the BRL team on Friday, March 3, 2023 for an art reception from 4:00-6:00pm. The Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) collaborated with several local Ames artisans to produce new artwork for the BRL entryway. Local artisans include:

  • Reinaldo Correa-Diaz (Iowa State University Assistant Teaching Professor of Architecture & Industrial Design)
  • Chris Martin (Iowa State University Professor Emeritus of Arts and Visual Culture)
  • Joe Muench (Iowa State University Professor of Art and Visual Culture)
  •  Ingrid Lilligren (Iowa State University Professor of Art and Visual Culture).

Learn more about the individual works of art:

All In

Biorenewables Research Laboratory Benches: A New Life with a Rich History


Remembering the Unseen

Biorenewables Art Competition

Biorenewables Art Competition trading cardThe Biorenewables Art Competition is an annual event for Iowa State students enrolled in art or design courses.  The competition was the result of collaboration among Jill Euken of the Bioeconomy Institute and Ingrid Lilligren and Barb Walton, both professors in the Integrated Studio Arts program of the College of Design. The artwork and exhibit represents the collaborative nature of the building and the research being conducted at Iowa State University.

Each year, jurors select works for the student art exhibit as well as award prizes for best in show, first place, second place, and third place. Each year, one entry is selected as Best in Show. This piece becomes a permanent part of the BRL art collection.

The student art is displayed in the lobby and administrative suite of the BRL. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit; it is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. during breaks and the summer), Monday through Friday. The art exhibit is featured at most Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) functions and tours, which include visitors from all corners of the United States and abroad.

Special thanks to Dr. Robert C. Brown, the Director of the Bioeconomy Institute, for sponsoring student prizes.

Submit an application for the competition

Biorenewables Art Competition Winners

2018 | 2017 | 2016 2015 | 2014 | 2013 |  2012 |  20112010

The BRL Art Collection

In addition to the student pieces, the BRL also features artwork from Iowa State University faculty members.

Bean Series by Barbara Walton

 Close up of art

2009-2010, Soy Wax, Pigment on Panel, Twelve Works, 12”x 12” each

These twelve paintings are the result of collaboration between artist, Barbara Walton, Associate Professor of College of Design, and scientist, Dr. Tong Wang, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Hui Wang worked with Toni (Tong) and Barbara to make a soy wax that could be suitable as an alternative wax for use in encaustic painting. Encaustic painting is an ancient art form (approx. 500 A.D.), which traditionally utilizes beeswax and pigment. “Bean Series” is work that was created during the first phase of soy wax formulas made in this unique partnership.
Special thanks to Professor, Lawrence Johnson, the Director of the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm.

Biochar Pieces by College of Art & Design Professors

Close up of art

Professors in the College of Art and Design were given a bag of biochar, a product that results when biomass is converted into bio-oil with pyrolysis, with which to create charcoal image.