What art should be at the center? | News, Sports, Jobs


CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS – Artwork by Harold Linke from Oregon.

Members of the Marshalltown community are asked about the most suitable artwork for the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center.

The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Foundation, the Marshalltown Community School District / High School, and the Arts & Culture Alliance have three finalists for a work of art to be permanently installed at the center, formerly the Auditorium Community / MHS.

The finalists include

• Harold Linke from Oregon

• Stephen T. Johnson from Kansas

Artwork by Stephen T. Johnson of Kansas.

• Cecilia Lueza from Florida.

Fundraising efforts for the project began in 2020 and the selection committee was formed earlier this year. On March 1, the call for artists was launched and a few weeks later the committee received nearly 50 nominations from across the United States.

“We were blown away by the quantity and quality of applications we received from artists from across the country” Amber Danielson, executive director of the Alliance, said. “It has been an exciting project for all members of the selection committee. It was so exciting to witness the enthusiasm and talent of artists interested in having their work in Marshalltown.

Now the committee wants to engage the community. Over the next two weeks, committee members will participate in events to gather public comment and feedback. In addition to in-person events, the community is invited to provide online commentary until July 7.

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

Artwork by Cecilia Lueza from Florida.

The goal of community engagement is to identify which room:

• Celebrates, ignites and amplifies the arts

• Provides a “wow factor” who invites people to enter the establishment

• Pays homage to the long history and talented artists who have performed at the facility

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

The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center is used by students and members of the general public. Student performances regularly include Marshalltown High School’s choir, orchestra, choir, band, jazz band and more. Additionally, the center hosts annual performances from many dance studios and is a point of pride for presenting and amplifying the arts in Marshalltown. Several community organizations, such as Live on Stage, use the facility.

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

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