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Mural, mural on the walls

Two giant paintings coming to Marshalltown

March 31, 2011

Carl Homstad is known throughout the state of Iowa for taking an ordinary-looking building and bringing it to life with his murals.

Well, Marshalltown can get ready for some infusion of his "life" in the form of two murals heading to a building downtown.

Homstad, an artist from Decorah, is set to begin work on a mural on the east side of the Zeno's Pizza building that will wrap around to the south side of the structure.

Article Photos

Artist Carl Homstad works on one of his six murals which can be found in Newton. Homstad will paint two murals in Marshalltown this June, one on the east side of the Zeno’s Pizza building and one on the south side. The murals will have a different design than the one pictured and include former storefronts and the former Marshalltown State Bank.

Homstad has completed dozens of murals throughout Iowa and the Midwest including six murals of this type on buildings in Newton.

"After I did the first one they kept finding places for me to do them," Homstad said.

He is being brought to Marshalltown for the work courtesy of the Marshalltown Development Foundation, which relies on local donations to fund its projects, and help from the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation. Zeno's management is also contributing to the project as they will prepare the walls for Homstad's work.

The mural on the east side of Zeno's will depict the front of the old Marshalltown State Bank while the south side of the building will have other old-time storefronts. The work is expected to be done over the span of 15 days in June and the public is welcome to view Homstad in action.

"We loved his work in Newton," said Marshalltown Development Foundation member Jane Bauer. "It's very detailed and it's realistic. He really appreciates the historical value to the community."

Dean Elder, president of the MDF, is equally excited about the project which he calls historical art.

"We think it will create some excitement," Elder said. "It gives people something to talk about."

Homstad said murals are a way to bring the art to the people who may not go to galleries. He also takes seriously the historical impact the murals can have on people.

"I think one thing Americans have trouble with is appreciating their history in small towns," Homstad said. "A mural can help you appreciate the character of the town architecturally and historically."

Homstad traditionally adds small items of local history in his paintings and he said people can expect Fisher valves and Marshalltown trowels to be included in one of the stores. It might surprise people to know he uses just ordinary exterior house paint for his murals.

Bauer hopes the work doesn't stop at just two murals for Homstad in Marshalltown.

"We're hoping this is a kickoff to even more murals for the town," she said.

To view Homstad's previous work visit his website at To donate to the Marshalltown Development Foundation contact Elder at 641-752-4840.


Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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