Wallaces Farmer

Portraits in courage, leadership and achievement are featured by ISU College of Agriculture at 2016 Iowa State Fair.

August 11, 2016

3 Min Read

A woman who lived through the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. An esteemed state and national dairy industry leader. The writer and performer of a one-man play on George Washington Carver.

These three Iowans — Grace Obata Amemiya of Ames, Joe Lyon of Toledo and Paxton Williams of Des Moines — were selected by Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to have their portraits painted at the university exhibit during the 2016 Iowa State Fair, Aug. 11-21.


“Your Beautiful Adventure” is the theme of Iowa State’s exhibit in the Varied Industries Building, open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors will experience art in the making while Iowa artist Rose Frantzen paints portraits on site — two daily, with the exception of Aug. 17. Frantzen's work has been featured nationally, including an exhibit of her Portrait of Maquoketa project at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

 Showing courage, leadership, determination and achievement
“Our three portrait subjects exemplify courage, leadership, determination and achievement,” said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Iowa State University has special exhibit at Iowa State Fair

“Grace Amemiya and her husband, the late Min Amemiya, an Iowa State agronomy professor, Extension agronomist and USDA soil scientist, had firsthand experience of the World War II internment camps,” Wintersteen said. “Grace and Min kept alive this chapter of our national history, telling their story and educating thousands.”

“Joe Lyon is an alumnus of our college, an internationally recognized dairy cattle judge and the husband of the late Norma ‘Duffy’ Lyon, who was an Iowa State Fair institution, sculpting the famous butter cow for nearly 50 years.” Joe Lyon is an Iowa Master Farmer. He and his late brother were presented the award by Wallaces Farmer magazine in 1983.

Iowa State University has special exhibit at Iowa State Fair

“And countless times, Paxton Williams has helped us share the story and legacy of Iowa State’s first African-American student and faculty member and one of the world’s great agricultural scientists, George Washington Carver,” Wintersteen said.

Iowa State University has special exhibit at Iowa State Fair

Total of 20 State Fair subjects will be painted this year
Read full biographies of each of the three portrait subjects on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ website, at http://www.cals.iastate.edu/features/2016/cals-sponsors-portraits-iowa-state-fair-isu-exhibit.

The 20 state fair subjects, chosen by ISU’s colleges and selected units, will sit for about four hours as Frantzen paints. The schedule for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ three subjects are:

Grace Obata Amemiya, morning of Aug. 19
Joe Lyon, morning of Aug. 12
Paxton Williams, afternoon of Aug. 12

As the portraits are finished, they will be displayed as part of the university’s exhibit.

Two other portraits to be painted at the university exhibit have ties to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. They are:

Stephanie Hansen, an associate professor of animal science and a leading cattle nutrition researcher, was selected by the ISU Office of the Vice President for Research. Hansen will sit for her portrait the afternoon of Aug. 18.

Wayne Fuller, distinguished professor emeritus of statistics and economics, an internationally recognized scholar and beloved mentor for more than 50 years, will be painted the morning of Aug. 15. Fuller also was selected by the ISU Office of the Vice President for Research. The statistics and economics departments are co-administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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