Artist to be selected for park mural

BY YUN LIN | JULY 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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Soon the green grass won’t be the only bright color at College Green Park.

The Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee will hold a meeting today to select an artist to create a mural on the steps of the park.

The meeting will be at 3 p.m. at City Hall, and the chosen artist will be announced Friday.

College Green, established in 1839, is one of the oldest parks in Iowa City, and the 40 steps in the northwest corner of the park will serve as the artist’s canvas.

The College Green StairSteps Art Project is a part of Iowa City’s Public Art Program. The budget for the mural is $3,000, including design, materials, fabrication, installation and coordination fees.

Marcia Bollinger, the Public Art Program coordinator, said this year, the program had a little more than $14,000, so the Public Arts Committee decided to paint the mural, and City Council provided funding for the program.

“It is a project that could be done easily,” said Ron Knoche, the city public-works director. “One of our members had seen a similar project done in another community and thought we could use a similar idea in College Green Park.”

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Moran said the city usually tries to find ways to spice up a park or building, a process made difficult because of lack of space.

“Usually events like this get put in parks because they are public property, and it is harder to find space on a private building or area,” he said.

Bollinger said the Public Arts Committee wants people to enjoy public spaces and to encourage local artists to participate in making them beautiful.

Proposals for the project were due July 2, and Bollinger said they received four applications by the deadline, all from local artists.

“It was an open-call regarding the submission for the artists, so we do not control who applies for this project,” Knoche said.

The artist may start as early as Aug. 1 and must complete the work by Aug. 21. Bollinger and Knoche expect the mural to last for more than five years.

“We all know that it won’t last forever,” Bollinger said. “We will probably do it again and a different artist can paint over it.”

Art Committee members will look for something that is tasteful and fits into the heritage of Iowa City and College Green, Moran said.

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