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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Anamosa Celebrates the Life and Spirit of Grant Wood
posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012  Post Comment

One of the world's most well known regional artists, Grant Wood, was born right here in Eastern Iowa and spent most of his life in the area. Wood spent much of his childhood in his hometown of Anamosa, Iowa and was brought back and laid to rest in the Riverside cemetery on the edge of town.

Each year the town celebrates the life and spirit of Iowa's most famous painter with an art festival in his honor. The Grant Wood Art Festival began 40 years ago in Anamosa, then moved to Stone City, the site of Wood's Stone City Artist Colony in the 1930s. Several years ago the festival returned to Anamosa, and is currently housed at the Lawrence Community, Fountain Park and the Anamosa Library and Learning Center.

The one-day event, this year on June 10, 2012, features something for everyone. At the Lawrence Community Center and Fountain Park, artist from around the region compete in a juried art show and sell their creations. The community center is also home to the kid's activities, Grant Wood presentations and food. Artists set up in Fountain Park as well, and the park's gazebo serves as a stage for regional musicians. This year features blues singer David Moore, folk singer Anna Laube and Bluegrass band Kodiak Flats.

In the Anamosa Library and Center guests will find a large Grant Wood Originals Art Exhibit featuring artwork from Wood as well as faculty and students of the Stone City Artist Colony. This year the show boosts 68 pieces of art, including all 21 of Wood's lithographs, which have only been shown together a few times.

The library will also feature guest speaker, Dr. Randy Lengling, who will discuss Grant Wood's works. An expert panel made up of Kristy Raine, who conducted an extensive research project on the Stone City Art Colony, When the Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony & School, R Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life and Sue Taylor, author of Grant Wood's Family Album , will discuss Wood's life and career.

The festival highlights art education as well. Each year students compete in an art competition to design the festival's admission badge, rotating between elementary, middle school and high school students from the area. This year's winner is Kalli Minger of Anamosa for her depiction of the painting Sister Nan. In addition to the badge art competition, the festival awards a scholarship to a high school student in Jones County. The scholarship is $200 and the expense is shared with the Grant Wood Gallery in Anamosa.

We hope you will get a chance to come out to Anamosa and spend the day celebrating the life of Iowa's most famous native son. For more information about the event visit

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