High School exhibit on at FMAAA


Riggs to step down as Director citing funding shortage

Fort Madison Area Arts Association

FORT MADISON - Fort Madison Area Arts Association is mission driven to arts education. The Annual Regional High School Competition had occurred annually for over twenty years without interruption until last April. Covid-19 was the cause for the pause; but the Annual is back in action this year featuring student work from Central Lee, Holy Trinity, Ft. Madison High School, and Eldon. Reception for the artists occurs April 17thfrom 2:00-4:00pm. Lee County Bank is the sponsor for the exhibition (FMAAA thanks them for sponsoring the lost show in 2020 as well).

Categories were condensed into the following: black and white drawing, colored pencil and pastel, painting, three-dimensional, and mixed media. Best of Show receives $40 from Personal Touch Portraits. First, second, and third place ribbons were awarded in each category. Honorable Mention ribbons awarded at the judge’s discretion. Kathy Neff, retired art educator from Van Buren and FMHS, was the judge this year. Black and White Drawing: 1stplace Kylie Hernandez of FMHS for “Field Grazer”; 2ndplace Brooklyn Jones of Central Lee for “Neck View”; 3rdplace Alexia Osborn of FMHS for “Wet Lady”; Honorable Mention Ellie Sanders of Central Lee for “Eye of the Beholder”. Pastel and Colored Pencil: 1stplace Lilli Scott of FMHS for “Sunday Afternoon”; 2ndplace Abigail Stockwell of FMHS for “Melancholy and Bliss”; 3rdplace Hanna Leech of Central Lee for “Kaleidoscope of Color”; Honorable Mentions are Mya Merschman for “Layup”, Lydia Garmoe for “Beauty” and Ellie Sanders for “Tropical Path” all from Central Lee; also Alita Bosler of Eldon for “Italy Street”.

FMHS' Kylie Hernandez captured 1st place in the Black and White division at the FMAAA's Regional High School Art Competition with her "Field Grazer' work. Image courtesy of FMAAA

Painting Division:  1st place Kylie Kemper of FMHS for “Frankbarny”; 2nd place Camilla Cummings of Central Lee for “Feathered Fiends”; 3rd place Abigale Stuekerjuergen of FMHS for “Imaginary Friends”; Honorable Mentions to Mya Schmitz for “Life” and Kendell Wells for “Woman and Glass” of FMHS; and Mary Hellige of Holy Trinity for “Making Wishes by Moonlight”.   Mixed Media: 1st place Kyndall Wells of FMHS for “Lady in Red”; 2nd place Paige Dettmers of FMHS for “Behind the Scenes”; 3rd place Aleaya Klesner of FMHS for “Roped”.  Three Dimensional: 1st place Alexis Gaylord of Central Lee for “Slice”; 2nd place Morgan Bride of Eldon for “Cow Pattern Dish Set”; 3rd place Makayla Leach of FMHS for “Gnome”.

FMAAA invites visitors to peruse the YART SALE running this month on the Member Artist Gallery side.

With the new roof renovation FMAAA is continuing it’s out-with-the-old…in-with-the-new theme by offering art and yard sale items. We continue the theme with the Director position as well, as this will be the last feature exhibition for this writer’s tenure.

I am not a Covid-19 loss, although FMAAA was knocked to the mat early on that end. FMAAA fought Covid with aid from PPP and Emergency Grants from IA Arts Council. My loss stems from the loss of Hotel/Motel tax appropriations to FMAAA passed by City Council in 2019 in order to finish the depot project.

After that decision I worked with FMAAA Board by reducing acquired benefits and monthly hours to continue aboard for up to a two- year timeline. That time has come and it is a consolation for me to see the building of the Amtrak platform along Ft. Madison’s mighty riverfront.

I heartily thank all the folks and businesses that I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. I have made many friends that will last for my lifetime.


Brian Riggs, director, FMAAA, Fort Madison Area Arts Association, news, Pen City Current, resignation


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