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July 30th, 2008Artist’s cow prints raise money for business school

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by Lee Hermiston

A University of Iowa Tippie College of Business alumna is using her love of a certain barnyard animal to give back to her former school.

“I paint cows,” said Valerie Miller, a 2003 graduate of the business school.

Miller, 27, an artist and owner of the Steel Cow Gallery and Studio in Waukon, has been painting cows for about 10 years. And while painting cows has served one purpose or another for Miller over the years, Miller said she now wants to use her skills to benefit the Tippie College of Business.

“What I learned at the Tippie College of Business has given me a good foundation to start a studio and gallery directly after college,” said Miller. “I was looking for a way to give back to the university.”

Miller started by painting a 40- inch by 40-inch acrylic painting of a cow—named Tippie, of course—on a canvas. The Holstein is black and white and in a Hawkeye gold background.

Miller said she contacted the college to talk about a fundraising opportunity, and the colorful bovine came to mind. Especially since Henry Tippie, the man the college was named for, grew up on a dairy farm.

Five thousand prints are being sold with 50 percent going back to Tippie College of Business. Of the prints, 1,500 will be 15-inch by 15-inch paper prints that sell for $39.99. The remaining 3,500 are 7-inch by 7-inch framed canvases, which Miller calls “mini moos.” They cost $59.99.

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