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Two UNI students big hit at Des Moines Arts Festival

August 3, 2003

Stacey Christensen, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761
David Schmitz, UNI freshman art major, (641) 228-2695
Angela Pease, UNI senior art major, (319) 266-5793

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Two University of Northern Iowa art students were among the first-ever group of 15 students who exhibited at the 2003 Des Moines Arts Festival. The students were chosen by a juried panel. The artists participated as part of the Emerging Iowa Artists Program, which was created to help students see if they could make a living selling art in Iowa.

David Schmitz, from Charles City, is a sophomore art major with an emphasis in drawing. He exhibited 15 pieces in charcoal, graphite and pastel.

Angela Pease, from Cedar Falls, is a senior art major with an emphasis in painting. She exhibited mixed-media 3-D works.

Pease will graduate in December and plans to pursue graduate school. Her lifelong dream is to teach at the college level and continue to produce artwork for commercial sale and gallery exhibits. Her experience and success at the Des Moines Arts Festival exceeded her expectations. She had hoped to sell just one piece of her work and ended up selling 12 pieces.

'It was a real confidence booster. I was so impressed with the Des Moines Arts Festival. So many of the professional artists selling their works stopped by to offer encouragement and advice for future festivals. Speaking with fellow artists was one of my favorite parts of the Festival,' said Pease.

Pease credits much of her success to UNI's art department. 'The professors have such a broad range of talents and they are always there to assist the students with their questions. The professional practices course prepared me for how to make slides and get ready for juried shows.'

The Des Moines Arts Festival was a life changing experience for Schmitz. He had hoped to sell three to four pieces. He sold 10.

'The best part about the Festival was not selling the art, it was the feedback from the customers and visitors. When people can relate an experience or story to a piece of my work, then I know my art is successful,' said Schmitz.