ISU graduate selected for national art show

Dalton Bergan

A previous Iowa State student was recently selected as one of more than 600 applicants to apply for the 2014 NICHE awards art show. After a professor suggested that she apply for the awards, Emily Baxter submitted two of her pieces she created for class.

“She was doing some very nice work, comparable or exceeding the quality I was seeing from past NICHE publications,” said Joe Muench, associate professor of integrated studio arts.

Between the U.S. and Canada, only 70 non-professional pieces are accepted as finalists in the NICHE awards, two of which were Baxter’s. Though she did not end up receiving an award, having two pieces accepted is pretty unheard of, Baxter said.

Baxter came to Iowa State as an open major. After taking some introductory art courses, she took an interest in fine arts, specifically metalsmithing. “I’ve always been more 3-D than 2-D,” Baxter said.

Baxter does most of her own work, including shaping the metal and cutting various stones, gems or glass bits herself. She has done a lot of metal piercing, including bowls and jewelry pieces. Most recently she works with silver and makes, primarily, linked bracelets.

Baxter graduated after the 2013 fall semester, and currently works at 2AU, a jewelry store in West Des Moines. “For right now, I’m really happy at 2AU,” Baxter said.

She works alongside the owner and one other employee as a bench jeweler, making custom pieces and doing jewelry repairs in the store.

Baxter took part in 11 different art shows during her time as a student at Iowa State. Though she stays busy working full time at 2AU, she plans to participate in more shows in the future.

The Focus Art Show is a campus-wide art show that Baxter will be taking part in this April. After proposing her project idea to the Focus committee last spring, Baxter received a $575 grant to fund her artwork.

“I was also very excited to hear of her acceptance to the upcoming Des Moines Arts Festival, where she will be one of our standout integrated studio arts, Emerging Iowa Artists,” Muench said. The show takes place in June and requires participants to be accepted before entering.

Baxter also plans on taking part in the next Octagon Arts Festival. This festival, held in Ames, takes place next fall.

Baxter would like to open her own jewelry shop down the road.

Ideally, she says she would like to open a store somewhere in her home state of Minnesota. “Des Moines is growing on me a lot, but I definitely love Minnesota,” Baxter said.