Last year, the Iowa Department of Transportation announced approval of Madison County’s application to become an Iowa Scenic Byways community following a 2014 call for new byways applications. Because of the Scenic Byways designation, Winterset will be one of fifteen Iowa Scenic Byways communities to be included in a statewide art installation effort which begins this summer.
The Iowa Byways Public Art Initiative is taking place along eight of Iowa’s scenic byways. The art pieces will be installed in each of the locations by April 2019, with a coordinated ribbon cutting at all fifteen sites. Each installation will be different and representative of creative placemaking within each community.
Currently there is an active committee working on a Call for Artists, fundraising, and overall planning and coordination of this public art piece, which will serve as a standing monument for years to come. As a central theme of the artwork, the committee has chosen George Stout, who is widely and warmly known here in Winterset as the inspiration for George Clooney’s character in the movie “Monuments Men”, and saved some of the world’s most valuable and precious artworks from destruction in World War II. George Stout was suggested as our theme because of his Winterset roots and impressive significance in the art world.
Submissions must be postmarked by April 7, 2017.
Communication of contracted artists to design and construct the art piece will be in a public meeting to be held on June 2, 2017 with follow up in writing. Installation of the artwork is expected to be between August – October 2017 pending funding.
This project is possible through the efforts of local volunteers and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Byways of Iowa Foundation, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Casey’s General Stores and local partners. Individuals or businesses that wish to contribute towards this art project are encouraged to contact Robin Paul, Coordinator for the Byways Art Advisory Committee at (515) 707-4309, or me at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, (515) 462-1185.
The Scenic Byways designation for Madison County opens a multitude of possibilities for tourism, development, and further interest in our community. Our inclusion in this public art project is the first opportunity to work statewide with other byways communities, and we’re grateful for the prospects of further partnerships!
Heather Riley, Executive Director
Madison County Chamber of Commerce