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Admission into Jester Park
& the Nature Center is FREE

Call for Artists! Artists in Action: Plein Air at Jester Park

Call for Artists

The Galleries at Jester Park Nature Center is seeking applications for participating in our second annual Artists in Action: Plein Air event and exhibition on September 17 & 18, 2022. A jury will pick up to 10 artists to participate in the event. The accepted artists will exhibit their work completed during the Plein Air event on September 18th. Artists’ previous work will also be featured in our fall Galleries exhibition running September 17 – December 25, 2022 at the Jester Park Nature Center.

Jester Park is the ideal backdrop for this event! Located in Granger, IA and offering 1,600 acres of prairie, wetlands, and forest for visitors to explore. Hiking, bird watching, camping, fishing, golfing, and horseback riding are just a few of the activities over 1.6 million visitors enjoy annually at the park. More information about the park is available at

The Jester Park Nature Center is located in the heart of the park and serves as a gateway to the outdoors. The facility sees over 40,000 visitors annually and offers educational displays, live animals, breathtaking views, public programs, and local art. The nature center and surrounding park provides numerous locations for artists to work and find inspiration. Artists will be assigned to an area and may work on any project they wish using our park as their workspace. The goal of the program is to provide artists with an opportunity to create and sell art while sharing the creative process with the public. Artists are welcome to bring a small tent or patio umbrella for shade/weather protection.

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

Polk County Conservation will select applications 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. If selected, artist will pay a $25 registration fee.

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.


Saturday, September 17 – Sunday, December 25:

Selected artists’ works (up to 2 pieces) will be on exhibition at The Galleries at the Jester Park Nature Center

Saturday, September 17:

8:00 a.m. Check-In & Continental Breakfast

8:15 – 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Site Assignment

8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Plein Air Event

3:00 p.m. Works and supplies can be brought back to classrooms at nature center and stored overnight

Sunday, September 18:

8:00 a.m. Check-In & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Plein Air Event

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Opening 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. 

Visitors will be put in direct contact with artists to purchase art. The art shall remain on display during the exhibition period and the buyer will be able to pick up the art after the exhibition. 

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.


Application deadline is August 5, 2022. You will be contacted by email on August 26, 2022 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. A sample of images of individual works. Details may be included. 

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 St., Granger, Iowa 50109
P 515.323.5317

F 515.323.5354

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