University of Iowa

Maquoketa Mural Project

Maquoketa Mural
Academic Year 
2019-2020
Project Partners 
Led by 

University of Iowa MFA candidate, Drew Etienne, worked with the Maquoketa Art Experience, City Council, and Jackson County Economic Alliance to paint a mural on the public square of Maquoketa, Iowa.

University of Iowa MFA candidate Drew Etienne completed a mural in Maquoketa on August 23, 2019. The community marked the event with a ribbon cutting attended by members of the Maquoketa Art Experience, City Council, Jackson County Economic Alliance, and University of Iowa. Etienne attended the Grant Wood Public Art Residency last spring and, in addition to Maquoketa, has worked in Tipton, Iowa, this summer.

Nancy Kilburg, of the Maquoketa Art Experience, invited the university to create a mural on a building facing their public square. Etienne worked with a steering committee to shape the goals of the project in May and hosted a community input meeting in June. Through this process, Etienne designed a mural that represents the town in a unique way. At the same time, Etienne gained valuable experience in an Iowa town. Etienne explains, “The Maquoketa mural was the biggest project that I've taken on in my career and its success is due in no small part to the generous members of the community. They donated their time and resources and were a great source of support, encouragement, and excitement for the project. I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to work with them.”

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 Maquoketa Sentinel-Press article about the project.