Three more murals coming to Marshalltown

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO — Local artists Melynda McCord and Landaca Czerniewski will create“Marshalltown’s Starry Night” as one of the three final muralsof 2021 at the downtown Great Western Bank.

A trio of new murals across Marshalltown will pay tribute to the history of the city while celebrating its unique culture and personality, and they should all be completed within the next few weeks.

The Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance announced the murals in conjunction with the kickoff of National Arts and Humanities Month, and the three sites — the north wall of the Chop Shop on 13th Street (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Marshalltown), the south wall of the Thompson True Value on South Center Street (sponsored by the Marshalltown Development Foundation) and the downtown Great Western Bank — have already been announced.

Arts and Culture Alliance Director Amber Danielson is excited about the progress made so far in 2021 and looks forward to wrapping up “mural season” with the last three projects.

“Although they’re all happening at the same time, many of them have been in the works for several years,” Danielson said.

Artist Kim Carlino, all the way from the Pioneer Valley, Mass., started work on the Chop Shop mural on Monday afternoon, and while she didn’t share any renderings, Danielson described the design as “an energetic backdrop full of energy and vibrancy” that should be completed by the end of the week.

T-R PHOTO BY Robert Maharry — Massachusetts based artist Kim Carlino begins work on her mural known as “Cosmic Expansion” that she is painting on the north wall of the Chop Shop on 13th Street.

Carlino hails from Michigan and has several family members still in Iowa, so she jumped at the opportunity to work on the mural, which she’s titled “Cosmic Expansion,” after being named a finalist on a previous project in Marshalltown.

“All my work has this sense of energy and movement, and so that expansion is, like, growth and possibility,” she said. “So I was really thinking about that, with your arts and culture district coming in and building up that sense of possibility, just really playing off of that… I really think of myself as a colorist, and color, I think, is really a universal connecting feature across different cultures.”

Jimmy Navarro of Des Moines, who has become well known for his “postcard” style murals at places like the Iowa State Fair and in Winterset, was handpicked to work his magic in downtown Marshalltown on the south wall of the Thompson True Value. On Monday afternoon, he was at the site with his partner Katie Jensen preparing to draw up what will become a massive tribute to the past, present and future of the city.

“We want to be representative of the agriculture and the other cultural communities, things that they’re known for, that Marshalltown is known for, and kind of like the regrowth from the tornado and community building,” Jensen said.

Navarro predicted that he’ll go “hardcore” next week and work days as long as 15 hours to complete the mural. Once he gets going, he finds it difficult to stop.

T-R PHOTO BY Robert Maharry — Jimmy Navarro (left) and Katie Jensen (right) pose for a photo along the south wall of the True Value store on South Center Street, where they plan to create a postcard style mural dedicated to Marshalltown.

“Once you get the dynamics up, the layout, then it’s all easy, and once I put the icons in each letter, that’s the best part,” he said. “It’s going to be one of those things that’ll take you a while. It won’t take you a fast second to look at it. You’re going to have to stop and look (and notice) ‘Oh, I never saw that last week. I didn’t realize they had this.'”

Danielson touted the True Value site as a welcome mat to historic downtown Marshalltown, and she believes that the mural will accentuate all of the things that the district has to offer.

The third mural will present a new take on one of the most iconic pieces in art history: Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting. Local artists Melynda McCord and Landaca Czerniewski have been commissioned to create “Marshalltown’s Starry Night” at the downtown Great Western Bank, and the mural is especially meaningful because their previous version was destroyed at the skate park just days after they completed it.

“It’s really going to be a complete design from left to right of the entire wall, which, to date, we haven’t done a design that’s filled the entire space,” Danielson said.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 or rmaharry@timesrepublican.com.


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