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Isabel Bloom's legacy lives on through her sculptures

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Concrete hearts, angels, and puppies … the sculptures of Isabel Bloom have been beloved since the 1950s. During this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Donna Young about the life of the remarkable Iowa artist behind the whimsical sculptures. Young says Bloom's work was unique for her time, not only because she was a woman who owned her own business, but because of the medium in which she worked.

"At the time, cement was used for construction, not art," says Young.

Young is co-owner of Isabel Bloom's company and apprenticed under Bloom when she first graduated from art school in the 1990s.

Later Libby Whyte, the Storm Lake artist and teacher behind this season's Iowa Public Radio pledge drive t-shirt, joins Nebbe. The t-shirt, dubbed "All Ears," features four microphones peaking out of corn husks and is done in the colorful style of Andy Warhol.


  • Donna Young, co-owner of Isabel Bloom business, former apprentice of Isabel Bloom
  • Libby Whyte, artist and teacher
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio