Sharer-Pieters competes again for top prize at Iowa State Fair

Missy Sharer-Pieters never tires of winning, or competing.

The one time all-state athlete, coach, graphic designer and artist is at it again.

This time Sharer-Pieters is painting the front and back of an estimated 350-pound concrete replica of Iowa.

Early next week she will return it to the Iowa State Fairgrounds where it will be on display at a yet to be determined outdoor location for fair attendees to enjoy Aug. 7-17.

This is the fourth consecutive year Sharer-Pieters has painted a concrete object d’ art in the fair’s professional category.

Her current project will tie-in with the 2014 fair theme “Amazingly Amusing.”

She will have a sweet corn theme, and paint several ears of corn on the front and a cornfield on the back.

Sharer-Pieters won first place last year, second place in 2012, and fourth place in 2011.

Each year she was required to design and paint a different object.

In 2011, it was a butter cow replica, in 2012, an ice cream cone, and last year, a 200-pound blue ribbon.

The artist and businesswoman, who has owned and operated Messy-Missy’s Studio in Marshalltown for more than nine years, quickly acknowledged that she couldn’t compete without help from family, customers, friends, other Meadow Lane Mall businesses and sponsors.

The family’s large pick up truck, necessary to manage their cattle operation, has been used to pick up the heavy pieces at a concrete fabricator in the Des Moines area each year.

The pieces were delivered to the Hy-Vee Drugstore’s loading dock, where their employees or those from Kmart, use a fork lift to transport it to Sharer-Pieters’ nearby store.

She works on the fair project in between taking care of customers and managing art classes.

“My sponsors the last three years have been invaluable,” said Sharer-Pieters. “This year, Mark and Cathy Ross of The Cabinet Shop sponsored the entry fee. I have been very fortunate to have others. In 2012, Center Street Dairy Queen, and last year, Jax Restaurant.”

Sharer-Pieters said this summer she was participating in contests back-to-back.

She recently returned a 600-pound dragon head with her paint scheme and design as part of the Johnston Community School District’s 100th anniversary.

And her business neighbors, Hy-Vee Drugstore and Kmart, recently teamed up to help her unload it.

Sharer-Pieters and eight other Iowa artists were invited to design and paint the heads. Each head will be on display in buildings throughout the district.

Sharer-Pieters will partake in an artist’s reception in Johnston Thursday, where the winner will be announced, and be awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

“I’ve already been awarded $300 for designing and painting the head, since mine was one of nine picked for submission,” she said.