What art should be at center?

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS — Artwork from Harold Linke of Oregon.

Community members of Marshalltown are being asked about which art piece would best fit at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center.

The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Foundation, the Marshalltown Community School District/High School and the Arts & Culture Alliance has three finalists for a work of art for permanent installation at the center, formerly the Community/MHS Auditorium.

The finalists include

• Harold Linke of Oregon

• Stephen T. Johnson of Kansas

Artwork from Stephen T. Johnson of Kansas.

• Cecilia Lueza of Florida.

Fundraising efforts for the project began in 2020 and the selection committee was formed early this year. On March 1, the call to artists was released and a few weeks later the committee received almost 50 applications from across the United States.

“We were blown away by the quantity and quality of the applications we received from artists all over the country,” Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson said. “This has been a passion project for everyone on the selection committee. It has been so exciting to witness the enthusiasm and talent from artists interested in having their work in Marshalltown.”

Now, the committee wants to engage the community. During the next two weeks, committee members will be at events to gather input and feedback from the public. In addition to in-person events, the community is invited to provide input online through July 7.

The selection committee is expected to make its final decision by July 9. The hope is to install the chosen artwork before the end of 2021.

Artwork from Cecilia Lueza of Florida.

The goal of the community engagement is to identify which piece:

• Celebrates, ignites and amplifies the arts

• Provides a “wow factor” which invites people to enter the facility

• Pays tribute to the long-standing history and talented artists who have performed in the facility

• Balances and exemplifies the support for the arts alongside the existing support of athletics on the Marshalltown High School Campus

The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center is utilized by students and general public members. Student performances regularly include the Marshalltown High School show choir, orchestra, chorus, band, jazz band and more. In addition, the center hosts many dance studios’ annual performances and is a pride point for showcasing and amplifying the arts in Marshalltown. Several community organizations such as Live on Stage, utilize the facility.

“This magnificent auditorium has provided endless opportunities to showcase student and international artists,” said Bonnie Lowry, school board member and foundation representative. “The community of Marshalltown has once again come together in a collaborative effort to support and visually celebrate the performing arts through public art outside the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center.”


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