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Collaboration Creates New Color in NewBo City Market

March 9, 2022 | Economic Development & Workforce

Leadership for Five Seasons Youth Class of 2021 Mural at NewBo City Market

Vibrancy. Equity. Inclusion.

Powerful words that represent the overarching theme of the new mural to be unveiled in Newbo City Market in March. The unique piece was brought to life by the collaborative efforts of the Leadership for Five Seasons (LFS) Youth Class of 2021, Murals & More, Economic Alliance and a donation from the Linn Area Credit Union.

The 22 students in the LFS Youth class of 2021 worked hard raising funds to bring to life this class mural. They did this by selling t-shirts with an exclusive design that reflected the classes vision for the mural. With the funds raised, with some financial assistance from the generous partners at Murals & More and Linn Area Credit Union, the class connected with Nick Ludwig, Co-Chair from Murals & More, to begin bringing their vision to fruition. Murals & More is a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to utilizing architecture as the backdrop for public art in Cedar Rapids. They are the bridge that connected the artist for the project with the LFS students that would help create their piece.

Murals & More selected local artist Eliezer Sotillo from Iowa City to help bring the conceptual vision of the class to canvas. For six months, they worked together to put ideas to paper and going through several renditions of sketches to get to something they both believed in and loved.

“It was a full on collaborative effort.” said Eliezer, “I really enjoy working with students and the entire flow of going from concept to canvas. This has been a really rewarding and fun process.”

While getting the art ready was one piece, having a place to display it was another partnership. Alexandra Olsen, Director of Marketing with NewBo City Market, worked with the LFS Youth class and Murals & More to find the perfect place to display the piece.

“Throughout the pandemic and the many changes at the market, bringing diversity and inclusion into the market has always been a big part of our mission.” said Alexandra, “We want to make it a purpose to showcase art that has a meaningful message behind it. This piece of art represents the community and what we are doing here at the market as well – bringing people together!”

The location selected for the piece is in the main café area of Newbo Market, the main gathering space and hub that is highly visible to all. Six students under the supervision of the artist and two supervisors from Murals & More and the Economic Alliance completed the mural in two days. The beautiful new piece of art has been installed and can now be enjoyed at Newbo City Market.

Collaboration. Creation. Community. This mural embraces our differences as humans and represents how the community has come together.