Public Art On The Way in Downtown Cedar Rapids

Mar 16, 2020

Several new pieces of public art are coming to Downtown Cedar Rapids just in time for spring!

Pocket Plaza Art

The new Pocket Plaza on Second Street SE next to Cobble Hill restaurant, between Third and Fourth Avenue SE will be transformed with digital art pieces. The site includes two opportunities for digital art: a banner mural to be located on the side of the building currently occupied by Cobble Hill, and five panels attached to the fence near the seating area in the plaza. This is a City of Cedar Rapids and Cedar Rapids Visual Arts Commission led project and a Request for Proposals from artists was sent out in January. In addition to the new panels, the City will also utilize a local artist to install a sculpture in the front of the Pocket Plaza.

Portrait of Iowa at the DoubleTree

Another City of Cedar Rapids-led project will be prominently displayed in the DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Center’s lantern space, a glass enclosed area that extends out, overlooking First Avenue. Titled Portrait of Iowa, this piece will be a collection of 300 photographs printed on one-foot-by-one-foot acrylic panels suspended in the air. It was designed and will be installed by John Fleming, an artist and architect from Seattle, Washington.

Dash Coffee Roasters

Property owners of the building that houses Dash Coffee Roasters in Kingston Village have partnered with the Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) and nonprofit, Murals & More, to hire an Iowa City-based artist to create a mural on the east-facing portion of the building. The project is slated to be complete this spring.

Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar

Another business in Kingston Village will soon be home to a mural with an extra special meaning. Italian restaurant, Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar, will add a print to the east-facing exterior wall of the building in celebration of the meaning of the restaurant’s name, popoli, which means people in Italian. Look for this mural this spring.

All of these projects tie in nicely to a significant portion of the latest Downtown Vision Plan, a framework to create an even greater, more vibrant experience in Downtown Cedar Rapids. The Plan outlines the importance of connecting Downtown Cedar Rapids to the arts and utilizing our signature streets. Many of the Plan’s goals also align with the City of Cedar Rapids’ Visual Arts Commission goals including improving the appearance and cultural climate of the community, so as to enhance the quality of life and community prestige, and using art as an aid in economic development.

Collaboration of private partners like the City of Cedar Rapids, the Downtown SSMID, and experts in arts and culture in create a more enjoyable Downtown for all, and creates one more experience that is unique to Downtown Cedar Rapids.

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