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State Fair's Newly Air-Conditioned Cultural Center will Showcase Iowa's Largest Art Show

August 2, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES (readMedia)-- The Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center will be popping with art at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. Home to Iowa's largest art show, the Cultural Center will feature balloon art sculptures, art activities, demonstrations and more - all in a newly air-conditioned environment. "Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Iowa State Fair set August 8-18.

Air conditioning and additional restrooms have been added during the Cultural Center's second phase of renovation. The three-story concrete structure, originally built in 1948, underwent the first phase of renovation in 2012 with the installation of elevators. The final phase of the renovation will be completed in time for the 2014 Fair.

The Cultural Center atrium showcases Poppin' Penelope Balloon Art from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the Fair. Penelope uses her unparalleled twisting speed and encyclopedic balloon knowledge to create whatever Fairgoers can imagine. Dressed in her '50s flair, she's up to any balloon challenge.

The state's largest art show will showcase exhibits in the areas of fine arts, photography, creative arts, wood projects and doll house and miniature room displays. More than 2,500 exhibits will be on display.

Fairgoers can let their creative flags fly and try their hands at making art. Make and Take projects available in the Cultural Center include magnets, wire jewelry and name bracelets.

Live demonstrations and working exhibits also offer Fairgoers the opportunity to see art in action, with artists demonstrating such art forms as wheel thrown pottery, glass fusing, china painting and more.

For a complete schedule of activities in the Cultural Center, visit

"Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Iowa State Fair, August 8-18. Save money on advance admission tickets now through August 7 (while supplies last). The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit



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