Representative Helen Miller spoke to a gathering of community members Wednesday about her Art in Agriculture project. She spoke as part of the ongoing public art sculpture event in Webster City's West Twin park.
Her project centers around spreading information and knowledge of agriculture through art. She said her experience in working with children has shown her this process can work.
"If you want to expose children to something, and you want to bring their parents along, you do it through the arts," Miller said.
She said elements of art in agriculture can be found in many places. The Iowa State Fair provides many examples of art inspired by agriculture, according to Miller, and she spoke of its historical significance with such pieces as Monet's "Haystacks" series of impressionist paintings.
Miller has been greatly involved in both art and agricluture in the past. She started the "Artful Dodger" program in Fort Dodge, which is named after a character from Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist." The program encourages public art with children and creates a piece every year. It is now in its tenth year.
She is also the first and only minority to serve on the house agriculture committee, which she has served on for eight years. She created the Urban Ag Academy to educate urban and minority legislators about agriculture.
Miller said she plans to hold a small Urban Ag Academy for children in October, although she did not disclose a specific date.