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Biorenewables Art Competition Winners 2017

Matthew Obbink holding his stool.
Matthew Obbink, a graduate student in Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State, won best-in-show at the Biorenewables Art Competition 2017 with his wooden stool made of reused materials and natural stains and paints.

A wooden stool made by Matthew Obbink was named best-in-show at the eighth annual Biorenewables Art Competition. Entitled Dunnage Stool #1, the stool is made with reused materials and natural stains and paints. Obbink is a graduate student in Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State University. Obbink receives a cash award of $750, which was announced at the exhibition’s opening reception on Apr. 221, 2017. Obbink’s piece will be added to the Biorenewables Research Center’s permanent art collection.

Anna Wagner, an undergraduate in the Integrated Studio Arts (ISA) program, grabbed first place and $350 for her kinetic jewelry piece called “Renewed.” In second place was a mixed media piece made of old automobile parts. It won $250 for its artist, Claire Smith, also an ISA student. And third place and $150 went to Kelly Devitt, another ISA student, for her ceramic wall piece, “Wild Honey Comb.”

The competition is aimed at students from Iowa State’s College of Design, who create works that reflect the mission of the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI). The event connects students with the research occurring in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory, which is located adjacent to the College of Design. The competition also helps to introduce the concept of biorenewables to a wide audience.

The art was evaluated by a jury that included Kristin M. Roach, an Ames-based artist; Alison Ferris, senior curator at the Des Moines Art Center; and Patrick Hall, a scientist and Ph.D. student at the Bioeconomy Institute.

The exhibit includes paintings, mixed media pieces, furniture, jewelry, digital works, and videos (view below).  It will be on display until March 2018 in the lobby of the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL). The BRL is located on the west side of the Iowa State campus. Viewing during office hours is free and open to the public.