Linn County and Iowa City are seeking artists for new public art projects

Iowa City Hall — photo by Zak Neumann

Linn County and Iowa City are both seeking artists to create new pieces of public art. But Linn County is looking for a representation of the county in two dimensions, while Iowa City is more interested in something three dimensional for the recently remodeled lobby of city hall.

Linn County wants a replacement for the logo it has used since the 1990s. The county’s official seal is modeled on the current logo, which also served as the basis for the image on the county’s flag.

“We’re looking for two things,” said Joi Alexander, communications director for Linn County. “The logo is the primary piece, but we’re also looking for a companion image for the seal. They should be different, but complimentary images.”

The logo needs to be scalable to a variety of sizes, since it will be used on everything from business cards to street banners, Alexander said. The image for the seal must include “1839,” the year the county was established.

“We didn’t put specific parameters around what they should look like, because we wanted to leave it open for creativity,” Alexander said. “We want something that will express what the county means to people.”

The artist whose designs are selected will receive $2,500. Details on the submission process can be found on the county’s website. Only submissions from Linn County residents or companies will be considered. Designs must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Nov. 15.

The current Linn County logo — courtesy of Linn County

Iowa City is casting a wider net in its search for an art installation. The process is open to all of the state’s residents.

The City Hall lobby was recently remodeled to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and as an extension of that remodeling, the city is commissioning an art installation to cover an otherwise blank 16-by-10-foot space near the lobby stairwell.

“The wall is curved, so our thought has been that a three dimensional installation would make the best use of the space,” said Marcia Bollinger, the city’s neighborhood outreach coordinator. “But that’s not to say we are going to preclude artists who are interested in just painted or drawn installations.”

The city is not soliciting designs at the moment, just taking applications from people and groups interested in creating the art installation. Four finalists selected from the pool of applicants will each receive a $250 stipend. There is a $9,000 budget for the winning project. Information on the application process are available on the city’s website. The process will remain opened until Oct. 27.

“We’d love to see submissions from all sorts of people and groups, including people who don’t officially label themselves as artists,” Bollinger said. “You could be an architect, a metal smith, a design professional of any kind.” Whoever is selected for the project will work with the city’s Public Arts Advisory Committee on the final design.

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