University of Iowa

Cedar County Mural Project

Grant Wood Public Art students will work closely with Cedar County residents and leaders to identify sites and finalize mural designs, so that the murals will reflect each community’s unique character. Students will complete the project by physically painting one mural in each of Cedar County’s eight incorporated communities. Consideration will be given to the historical significance of the building with OO&E staff working closely with the artists to ensure that buildings with historical significance maintain their integrity.

The University of Iowa Office of Outreach and Engagement (OO&E) completed a two-year partnership with the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) as part of the OO&E Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities program.  Through this partnership, graduate students in the School of Urban & Regional Planning led efforts to create a Vision Plan for Cedar County, Iowa.  The planning team met with residents and stakeholders in each of Cedar County’s eight incorporated cities.  The process resulted in community goals, objectives, and strategies.

Through the visioning process, Cedar County residents identified Downtown Revitalization and more Arts & Culture offerings as top priorities in the county, with a specific call for more public art installations.  The Cedar County mural project efforts have quickly followed the adoption of the plan and the Iowa Great Places designation for Cedar County. 

OO&E works to match Iowa communities with UI faculty, students, and staff to advanced shared goals.  Communities are increasingly interested in engaging citizens through creative placemaking and public art, and the University of Iowa has a deep pool of talented, creative, and innovative art students, as well as faculty experts to help guide projects.  OO&E is the hub of engagement activities for the University of Iowa.  The Grant Wood Art Colony, a featured OO&E program, plays a key role in shaping arts and culture activities both on and off campus.

Learn more by clicking on this Iowa Now article about the project.