Sharer-Pieters competing for top prize at Iowa State Fair

The competitive spirit never left Missy Sharer-Pieters.

The one-time all state athlete and coach is fired up and ready to go in her third consecutive art competition sponsored by the Iowa State Fair.

After earning a fourth place for a work in 2011, and a second place last year, both in the professional category, she is confident a first place can be won during the fair, Aug. 8-18.

The challenge at hand is to paint an approximately 200-pound concrete replica of a blue ribbon to coincide with the fair theme “Happiness Is …” .

Sharer-Pieters said she will use her own design and color scheme to portray a travel theme with the fair as a destination point.

She is well-prepared, having traded in her coach’s whistle for a palette a number of years ago to devote full time to her life-long passion of art and graphic design.

Sharer-Pieters doesn’t have much time – the deadline to deliver the completed piece is July 26.

However, the artist is used to meeting deadlines in her business -Messy Missy’s Art Studio – and helping with the family’s cattle operation.

She’ll get to work immediately after the Central Iowa Fair concludes Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to competing this year,” she said. “Friends and customers have been asking if I was going to enter this year, and have been curious about the blue ribbon.”

One friend, Sherry Perkins, owner-operator of Jax Restaurant in Marshalltown, volunteered to sponsor the $100 entry fee and the restaurant will be the permanent home of the blue ribbon after the fair.

The piece will be displayed on the grounds during the fair’s 10-day run.

“In 2011, and last year, my work was displayed by the cattle barns, near gate 7 on Dean Avenue,” Sharer-Pieters said. “So, I’m anxious to learn where the blue ribbon will be placed for this year’s fair.”