It’s sponsored by the Keep Iowa Beautiful program, and executive director Jerry Schnepf says the idea is to help the town create art. “They will work with local people in the town. We don’t have an outcome, there’s not a product that we’re doing. And it’s not simple to go up and paint a building or a mural,” Schnepf explains. “It is to explore what is the wide range of art.” Schnepf says this is something new they are trying.
“It’s not a very structured kind of concept. We’ve done some original discussion with the artists — but they’ll get a chance to work with the community and let the community determine what it is they want to do and how to take advantage of these artists,” according to Schnepf. He says it is important to have art around us.
Schnepf says art is important in any community no matter what size it is and he says it changed attitudes if people don’t see art in a community. Schnepf says the “Art Wave on the Prairie” program honors artist David Dahlquist of RDG Planning & Design. The artwork on the High Trestle bridge in central Iowa is just one of the projects Dahlquist has designed.
“He’s done a lot of work — not just here — nationally and internationally. in helping make communities attractive through art,” Schnepf says. Schnepf says the artists will have a plan to work on by Saturday.
“We’re going to see if this works,” Schnepf says. “And if it works then we are going to try to repeat it into other small towns around the state. Some communities are already there, they’ve got it figured out, but a lot don’t. In Iowa we have 862 communities under five-thousand people in size.”
The artist team includes: Andy Davis of New York City (originally from Des Moines), Allison McGuire of Oskaloosa, Jennifer Drinkwater of Ames, and Ryk Weiss and Pam Dennis of Ogden.
The public is invited to join the artist team and others on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Memory Lane in downtown Laurens for the final reveal of the Art Wave on the Prairie program.