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Admission into Jester Park
& the Nature Center is FREE

Call to Artists


Polk County Conservation is seeking proposals for exhibition in the galleries at the Jester Park Nature Center.

The Galleries at the Jester Park Nature Center offers the opportunity for local art to be displayed and made available for sale to park visitors. Architectural details of the nature center include exposed timber trusses, floor to ceiling windows, limestone, high ledges, and long linear drywall. View proposal here.

Artist(s) must be high school or college students for student shows. Priority will be given to artists living or studying within 250 miles of Des Moines, IA however, all proposals will be given consideration.

Artist(s) 18 years of age or older. Priority will be given to artists living or working within 250 miles of Des Moines, IA however, all proposals will be given consideration.

Polk County Conservation will select proposals based on artistic merit as evidenced by representation of past work and other supporting materials. Ideal proposals will support the mission of Polk County Conservation which is to provide the citizens of Polk County with quality outdoor recreation, conservation education, and long term protection of Polk County’s natural resources.

Artist(s) are responsible for all associated expenses related to design, fabrication, presentation, insurance, transportation, installation and de-installation. 

Costs related to transport and installation of the work will be the sole responsibility of the artist(s) unless otherwise stipulated. Polk County Conservation will provide signage in the gallery including title and medium of piece, artist’s name, and sale price.

Exhibition duration varies. The selected artist(s) are expected to attend the reception.

Polk County Conservation retains responsibility for advertisement of work through listing in a tri-annual Nature News events calendar and through the Polk County Conservation website and social media sites. Polk County Conservation may include exhibitions in programming at the park. Any additional desired advertisement will be the responsibility of the artist. 

Artwork can be for sale with Polk County Conservation retaining 15% of the sale price, however, the artwork will remain on display during the exhibition as per contract signed between the artist and Polk County Conservation. Polk County Conservation will sell the art on the artist’s behalf and will issue payment for the artist’s percentage (85%) within 14-days of collecting payment.  The art shall remain on display during the exhibition period and the buyer will be able to pick up the art after the exhibition.  The artist shall provide a W-9 to Polk County Conservation and Polk County shall issue a 1099, if applicable.

Polk County Conservation is not liable for any lost, stolen, or damaged work. Artists are responsible for insuring work while it is on display in the gallery. 

Materials used should be appropriate to an indoor environment. 2D and 3D work is accepted, however, there are size and space limitations. Please call for available exhibition space.

Proposals may be submitted for existing works or site-specific installations. You will be contacted by Missy Smith regarding our selection. Artists may submit proposals by sending a complete artist's package by postal mail or email to: 

Polk County Conservation
Attention: Missy Smith
12130 NW 128th Street
Granger, IA 50109 


Proposals should include the following items: 

1. An artist statement or project narrative, not to exceed 2 pages
2. A resume or biography
3. 10-20 images of individual works.  Details may be included. 

  • Images should be saved in JPEG format at 96 pixels per inch (ppi).  Images should not measure greater than 10 2/3 inches (or 1024 pixels) along the longest dimension of the image.

4. An image list with title, media, size, and year completed for each image

Note: Your proposal materials WILL NOT be returned to you.


Contact Missy Smith at:
12130 NW 128th Street, Granger, Iowa 50109
P 515.323.5317
F 515.323.5354