The University of Iowa


Grant Wood Public Art Residency

What I think about when I consider public art has broadened substantially due to the concepts we've talked about in class and the examples and stories and histories we've looked at. I'm already thinking more consciously about what impact I can have in a community and how to think outside of just painting an aesthetically-pleasing mural on a wall.”

Grant Wood Public Art Resident

Nine University of Iowa students spent spring break studying the practice, history, and theory surrounding public art projects.

These students were selected to be part of an inaugural Grant Wood Public Art Residency. Under the direction of faculty members Vero Rose Smith and Thomas Agran, the students discussed the politics of art in public spaces, dove into the nuances of materials and methods, explored six Cedar County communities, and toured the Stanley Museum of Art. The week culminated with each student presenting their concepts to their colleagues and members of the public.

The students will have the opportunity to put these lessons into practice when they complete murals in Cedar County this summer.

The Grant Wood Public Art Residency was spurred by increased interest from communities across Iowa for public art projects. The Office of Outreach and Engagement worked with the Stanley Museum of Art to develop the new residency at the University of Iowa. Participants in the week-long, intensive residency were selected through a competitive application process and demonstrated interest in and aptitude for creating art in public spaces and community engagement. The group, listed below, includes both University of Iowa undergraduate and graduate students. The students learned about design, community engagement, urban and regional planning, engaged practice, materials, ownership, presentation skills, and more.


Thomas Agran, director of public art, Iowa City Downtown District; MFA Painting, Indiana University

Vero Rose Smith, associate curator, Stanley Museum of Art; MDesS Art, Design, and the Public Domain, Harvard, MA Art and Architectural History, University of Iowa

Student residents
2019 Grant Wood Public Art Residents

Alexis Beucler, Painting, MFA

Dawson Davenport, Printmaking. MFA

Drew Etienne, Painting, MFA

Eden Hall, Jewelry & Metal Arts, MFA

Katlynne Hummell, Painting & Drawing, BFA

Ali Hval, Painting & Drawing, MFA

Gabrielle Kershaw, Engineering, Undergraduate

Janiece Maddox, Undergraduate

Dayon Royster, Printmaking, MFA

Grant Wood Public Art Residency
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