Painted blue ribbon earns Sharer-Pieters top prize

The third time was the charm for Missy Sharer-Pieters.

The Marshalltown artist won first place in the Iowa State Fair’s art competition with her work, “Happiness is Traveling the US of A.”

Sharer-Pieters was notified of the award Monday morning from Tanya Cook, ISF special events director.

“The judging was tough … so many great entries,” said Cook.

This year Sharer-Pieters used a design and color scheme to portray a travel theme with the fair as a destination point.

Sharer-Pieters beat out a number of other professionals for the top prize.

All contestants in the professional and novice divisions were required to paint a 200-pound concrete replica of a fair blue ribbon, utilizing the 2013 fair theme “Happiness Is … ” and submit to Cook by July 26.

Sharer-Pieters had won fourth place in 2011, and second place in 2012, both in the professional category.

The blue ribbon will be displayed on the grounds during the fair’s Aug. 8-18 run.

Sharer-Pieters said she will be notified of the ribbon’s placement on the fairgrounds Wednesday night.

“In 2011, and 2012, 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.”

Sharer-Pieters has been invited to receive her first place prize at 2:15 p.m., Aug. 18 at the Riley Stage on the fairgrounds.

Jax Restaurant will be the ribbon’s permanent home after the fair ends, Pieters said.

“A friend, Sherry Perkins, owner-operator of Jax Restaurant in Marshalltown, volunteered to sponsor the $100 entry fee,” Sharer-Pieters said, “so I decided the ribbon should go to Sherry.”

It isn’t the first time a Marshalltown restaurant has been graced with a winning entry.

The Marshalltown Dairy Queen on South Center Street is home to Sharer-Pieters second-place art work, a 500-pound concrete replica of an ice cream cone.