City of Cedar Rapids asking residents to submit photos for a new art project

Mays Island, Cedar Rapids — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The city of Cedar Rapids is asking residents to submit photos that showcase the city’s buildings, landmarks or neighborhoods.

The photos will be used in an art installation called Portraits of Iowa by artist John Fleming, who is based in Seattle, Washington. A sculptural piece using the photos will hang in the U.S. Cellular Center, and is scheduled to be unveiled in September.

The city’s development committee endorsed the project in early January, and the project and its $100,000 budget were approved by the Cedar Rapids City Council later that month.

Portraits of Iowa is scheduled to be installed in the U.S. Cellular Center this September. — rendering from the Portraits of Iowa website

About 340 community-submitted photos will be suspended within the 36-foot-tall installation to “capture the essence of Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities,” according to a city news release. At night, the photos will be illuminated by a color-changing LED system.

The city is encouraging residents to submit photos that “capture a local’s perspective that reflects the essence of Cedar Rapids, celebrating the everyday, ordinary details of places and things, rather than the more obvious iconic Cedar Rapids’ landmarks.”

Residents do not have to be professional photographers to submit photos — people of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. They may submit up to five photos on the Portraits of Iowa website, but should avoid submitting close-up portraits of people. The maximum file size of each photo is 2 MB. Selected photos will be cropped, adjusted and printed on clear acrylic sheets varying in size.

The deadline to submit photos is Friday, July 10.

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