The third time was the charm for Missy Sharer-Pieters.
The Marshalltown artist won first place in the Iowa State Fair's art competition with her work, "Happiness is Traveling the US of A."
Sharer-Pieters was notified of the award Monday morning from Tanya Cook, ISF special events director.
From this July 14, 2013 photo, Missy Sharer-Pieters of Marshalltown is shown with paint brushes in hand at her business — Messy Missy’s — in preparation for painting an approximately 200-pound concrete blue ribbon for an Iowa State Fair contest.
"The judging was tough ... so many great entries," said Cook.
This year Sharer-Pieters used a design and color scheme to portray a travel theme with the fair as a destination point.
Sharer-Pieters beat out a number of other professionals for the top prize.
All contestants in the professional and novice divisions were required to paint a 200-pound concrete replica of a fair blue ribbon, utilizing the 2013 fair theme "Happiness Is ... " and submit to Cook by July 26.
Sharer-Pieters had won fourth place in 2011, and second place in 2012, both in the professional category.
The blue ribbon will be displayed on the grounds during the fair's Aug. 8-18 run.
Sharer-Pieters said she will be notified of the ribbon's placement on the fairgrounds Wednesday night.
"In 2011, and 2012, my work was displayed by the cattle barns, near gate 7 on Dean Avenue," Sharer-Pieters said. "So, I'm anxious to learn where the blue ribbon will be placed for this year's fair."
Sharer-Pieters has been invited to receive her first place prize at 2:15 p.m., Aug. 18 at the Riley Stage on the fairgrounds.
Jax Restaurant will be the ribbon's permanent home after the fair ends, Pieters said.
"A friend, Sherry Perkins, owner-operator of Jax Restaurant in Marshalltown, volunteered to sponsor the $100 entry fee," Sharer-Pieters said, "so I decided the ribbon should go to Sherry."
It isn't the first time a Marshalltown restaurant has been graced with a winning entry.
The Marshalltown Dairy Queen on South Center Street is home to Sharer-Pieters second-place art work, a 500-pound concrete replica of an ice cream cone.