23 Students Selected for 2018 Art Walk

2018 Student Art Walk

23 local students were honored at a ceremony on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at the Cedar Rapids Art Museum, as selected artists for their submissions chosen as part of the 2018 Student Art Walk. Students submitted their creations based on the central theme of “community.”

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart hosted the event as emcee, helping congratulate these students and their families. The pieces from the Student Art Walk will be visible throughout downtown Cedar Rapids throughout the summer, as each work of art is reprinted on a vinyl banner and hung on light posts throughout 3rd St. SE and 3rd Ave. SE.

About the Student Art Walk

Since 2012, Murals and More has partnered with Cedar Rapids schools to find young artists to showcase their talent on banners throughout the downtown area. Cedar Rapids public and private schools are invited to submit student art work. Students are asked by their art teacher to create an art piece depicting a specific theme. Top artwork is reproduced on banners and displayed throughout downtown from May through August, creating a community art walk on 3rd St. SE and 3rd Ave. SE.

For more information on how you, your school, or your child can participate next year, please contact us.

Sponsor the Student Art Walk

Murals & More is seeking interested businesses to sponsor the Student Art Walk on an annual basis. Each student art banner has space for one sponsor logo. By sponsoring a banner, a business makes it possible for another student to have their artwork selected and included with a banner placed downtown as part of the Student Art Walk. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting Murals & More by sponsoring a banner.

Murals & More unveils new Cedar Rapids skywalk mural by AKACORLEONE

Five Seasons, Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail

This article was written by Rob Cline for Little Village Magazine. Read the entire article here: Murals & More unveils new Cedar Rapids skywalk mural by AKACORLEONE.

A small crowd gathered for the unveiling of a big mural in downtown Cedar Rapids on Monday evening. Murals & More, which is steadily creating the Cedar Rapids Mural Trail, dedicated the organization’s first mural of 2017 on the east side of the skywalk on Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

Riffing on Cedar Rapids’ “City of Five Seasons” slogan, Portuguese artist Pedro Campiche, who works under the name AKACORLEONE, has created an eye-catching mural centered on the words “Five Seasons.”

“I just hope you like my artwork and it portrays the city,” Campiche said in a brief statement during the ceremony.

Continue reading on the Little Village Magazine website…

Murals & More Brings Internationally Recognized Artist to Cedar Rapids for First Mural of 2017

AKACORLEONE (Pedro Campiche)

AKACORLEONE Commissioned for Third Street Skywalk Mural

Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Murals & More is excited to announce that its first mural of 2017 will begin work today. Portuguese artist AKACORLEONE (Pedro Campiche) has traveled from Lisbon to complete installation of the mural. The location of the artwork is on the east facing side of the skywalk at 349 4th Ave, SE Cedar Rapids, and is part of the continual collaboration between Murals & More and ParkCR.

Pedro was inspired by the “City of Five Seasons” concept where the fifth season exists to appreciate the other four. His idea was to create a piece of art that reflected the positive spirit of Cedar Rapids through bright and cheerful colors. The composition illustrates the motto in an abstract rendering that can be read through a mix of figures inspired by nature, the urban streetscape, and figurative elements that reflects the connection between the city in harmony with the surrounding environment. “I am excited about the skywalk project in Cedar Rapids because it gives me a chance to explore a new city, to be a part of its history and to show my work to a broader audience.”

AKACORLEONE was chosen as the muralist for this project after a rigorous selection process that began with an open request for proposal application from Murals & More. “We were immediately excited once we received Pedro’s proposal. His style of artwork beautifully captures the intrinsic spirit of our city,” said Board Co-Chair Alexis Dagit. “We are thrilled to working alongside such a high-caliber artist and look forward to having a piece of his art as part of our city’s story.”

An “INSTALLATION CELEBRATION” will be held on MONDAY, JUNE 26 AT 6:30 PM. The ceremony will be held underneath the skywalk and the public is invited to attend. Artist AKACORLEONE, as well representatives from Murals & More and ParkCR will be on hand to debut the mural. The ceremony will last about 15 minutes and will be immediately proceeded by celebratory drinks at Backpocket Brewing.

Park Cedar Rapids

Park Cedar Rapids is an organization committed to providing a positive parking experience for patrons of downtown Cedar Rapids. Let Park Cedar Rapids help you plan your next trip downtown by visiting www.parkcedarrapids.com.

AKACORLEONE (Pedro Campiche)

Pedro Campiche is a visual artist of Portuguese and Swiss descent who started out as a graffiti writer in the underworld of his native Lisbon. A compulsive drawer, obsessed with all things graphic and visual from an early age, he studied arts and earned a degree in design and visual communication in 2007. After working as a graphic designer in studios for a few years he became fully disappointed with the field and decided to work as a freelance illustrator as a complement to the development of his artistic career. In the field of visual arts he is known today for his dexterity in using colors, typography, characters and refined forms which he blends to achieve eye-catching compositions imbued with originality and all-pervasive humour.

Join us for the 3rd Annual Murals & Martinis

2016 Murals & Martinis

Join us for our third annual “Murals & Martinis” art auction on Thursday, November 17 at the Encore Lounge of Paramount Theatre from 6 – 9 pm! Tickets are just $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and include hors ‘ourves and a chance to win one of our great door prizes. There will be a variety of artwork from local, professional and semi-professional artists for you to bid on, artist meet & greets, music and of course, martinis! Grab your friends and help us add more art to downtown Cedar Rapids by supporting us through this great fundraising event.

Tickets are available online or by contacting one of our board members.

RFP for Second Art Installation

Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail

Murals and More is happy to announce that their request for proposals for a new mural in downtown Cedar Rapids is now open. With three different possible locations for our next mural, we are eager to continue the Cedar Rapids Mural Trail. Our first mural installation occurred in 2012, and we are excited to continue bringing art to the downtown area.

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Cedar Rapids Trail in Midst of Securing Second Installation

Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail

This post was first published in an article titled “Newstrack: Murals and more, Cedar Rapids trail in midst of securing second installation” by Diana Nollen, published in The Gazette.

The first installation of the Cedar Rapids Mural Trail, “Entering the Eras,” was unveiled May 19, 2012, on Third Street SE. The 3D piece by Bounnak Thammavong of Iowa City and Mike Sneller of Cedar Rapids juts out from a wall over the alley between Second and Third avenues, abutting the Armstrong building and Deb’s Deli.

What’s happened since The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail is about to double in size.

Fundraising is underway to finance a second artwork on the Fourth Avenue Parkade across from the Paramount Theatre’s Encore Lounge. Appropriately, this mural appropriately will celebrate the city’s arts heritage and is targeted for completion later this year.

“We’re about halfway to our (fundraising) goal,” said Mike Mesch of Cedar Rapids, the project’s volunteer co-director. “At our next meeting, we’re going to get real serious about figuring out what we want the art to look like.”

Then they can begin approaching Iowa artists to participate.

As with the first piece, which depicts key people who shaped the city from 1900 to the 1920s, the second installment will look to the past. Plans detailed in 2012 call for 27 works when the trail is completed, featuring nine murals in each of three phases — Cedar Rapids from 1837 to the 1920s; 1930s to the present; and looking toward the future.

The works become the property of the building owners to display and maintain, but Murals & More, the grass roots organization behind the trail, retains right of first refusal if the building is sold or the artwork needs to be moved.

The first work, made of metal and marine-grade paint, cost $20,000 in artists’ fees and materials. Funding came from a Cedar Rapids Community Foundation grant and donations from Armstrong building owner Jon Dusek and project founders Lynn and Bob Ocken.

Fundraising goal for the new piece is running between $80,000 and $100,000, said Mesch, a certified public accountant with Terry Lockridge & Dunn accounting firm in Cedar Rapids. That will pay for the design, construction and placement. The project again will be financed by donations, boosted by an art auction that cleared about $5,000 last November and a student art walk planned for April 16.

The art walk is the “more” in Murals & More. Judges will choose 50 designs by area students, to be displayed on banners along the Downtown Farmers Market route from May through September.

Each will follow an arts theme and contain the private or corporate donor’s name or logo. Sponsorships are $500 per banner.

Mesch said response to the inaugural mural and banners has been very positive, with the overarching comment being that “it’s great that we’re adding to the art in downtown Cedar Rapids.”

“I think that’s the best thing — that we’re taking a space that had been empty and filling it with art,” Mesch said.

Other goals include increasing the exposure of art that’s already downtown; to create new art; and to incorporate children’s art in the project and to recognize their efforts.

Mesch was recruited by friends on the board and joined in August 2013.

“I’ve always liked art, I like theater, I like music, and drawing as a child,” he said. “This is something I can get my mind wrapped around and be more passionate about than some of other opportunities that I had.

“I’m an accountant, so it’s nice to use that other side of my brain.

Want to get involved?

Volunteers are needed for everything from board positions and fundraising to event planning and staffing tables during the downtown farmers markets. The not-for-profit also welcomes tax-deductible donations. Go to the Murals & More Facebook page.

Testimonial: Casey Prince

Casey Prince

Recently, we asked Cedar Rapids residents, business owners, and leaders why they love Murals & More. The first person to respond was Casey Prince, Executive Director of Theatre Cedar Rapids. His answer, shown below, is what you may expect from a theatre guy; full of enthusiasm, wit, and a bit of character.

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The Second Student Art Walk

Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail

This post was first published in an article titled “The Second Student Art Walk” by Jodi Harris, published in City Revealed Magazine.

Spring showers usually bring May flowers, but this year it brings something even more exciting! Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail presents the Second Annual Student Art Walk, in downtown Cedar Rapids from May 1 through August 31, 2013. Local kindergarten through high school students have submitted artwork to judges, who chose fifty winners, including three grand prize winners. The public will be able to see the winning art work reproduced on banners displayed along the streets of downtown. In addition, the three grand prize winners will have their artwork displayed on large banners hung on two Third Street and Third Avenue skywalks.

Murals & More hosted the Second Annual Student Art Walk Recognition Event on Saturday, April 20th at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Students met their sponsors and saw their banners for the first time as the fifty winners were announced. At the event, each student received a poster reproduction of their banner. There were over 100 pieces of student art submitted from thirteen schools. The 2013 Grand Prize winners are: Gunner from Hiawatha Elementary School; Dorothy from Franklin Middle School; and Kaytlynn from Jefferson High School. Per school privacy restrictions, we are only listing their first names.

You may recall that last year, the First Student Art Walk was part of the exciting unveiling of the first Murals & More mural, located on Third Street between Second and Third Avenues, which was created by a local artist, Bounnak Thammavong. The winning students were recognized at the first mural unveiling in May 2012. Banners were displayed throughout the spring and summer along Third Street from First to Fourth Avenues SE.

Because of the huge success last year and the increased participation from teachers and students, the art walk was expanded to Third Avenue from First to Fourth Streets SE. The first mural can be seen as you wander along the streets looking at the student’s banners. In addition, all one-hundred student submissions will be displayed at the Banker’s Trust lobby through May 20th for the public to enjoy.

All Cedar Rapids schools were given the opportunity to submit artwork based on historical themes connected with the mural project. It is an honor for students to see their work on public display. “The idea behind the student art walk is to provide a mini art walking trail to mimic what will eventually be the mural trail throughout the area. It has always been our vision at Murals and More to incorporate community wherever and whenever possible and encouraging teachers and students to participate with the art walk fits right into our mission,” says Lynn Ocken, Past Executive Director and Founder of Murals & More

The Student Art Walk is a Murals & More project made possible by their many supporters. At the conclusion of the art walk, supporters and sponsors keep their banners. Many sponsors enjoy hanging their banners at their places of business and many schools also purchase their student’s banners to display inside their school. The banners and posters will also be made available for purchase. Contact Murals & More Co-Chair, Amy Lasack at Amy.Lasack@kirkwood.edu or 319.398.5435 to purchase a banner or poster. All money received will go toward the continued development of the mural trail.

“The Murals & More project has given Cedar Rapids students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in downtown Cedar Rapids. Art Specialists designed lesson plans with the history of Cedar Rapids in mind. Students not only learned important history regarding their city but also made community connections and put a creative touch on the knowledge they gained. It is a positive experience for all involved!” Says Lesley Panos, Visual Art Facilitator and Art Specialist at the Cedar Rapids Community School District

Remember that each banner is an individual expression of art which helps tell the story of Cedar Rapids history. It is hoped that when folks visit our downtown and see the banners decorating our streets, they will take the time to enjoy and appreciate the artwork. After the student art walk is over, look for banners to be displayed by Theater Cedar Rapids, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Cedar Rapids Art Museum and The Cedar Rapids History Museum. Visit www.crmuralsandmore.com to find out how you may donate to this project or sponsor a student banner for the 2014 Student Art Walk. Murals & More welcomes any business, group or individual to become a part of this project and help make more murals possible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Our Inaugural Mural is Lit

Our Inaugural Mural is Lit

Thanks to Hawkeye Electric, our inugural mural “Entering the Eras” is now lit! Take a stroll on 3rd St in downtown Cedar Rapids at night and check out how our mural looks in a new light. If you do, snap a photo and share it with us on Facebook! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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The Unveiling of the First Trail

Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail

This post was first published in an article titled “The Unveiling of the First Trail” by Jodi Harris, published in City Revealed Magazine.

April showers bring May flowers, but this May something even more exciting will beautify the neighborhood! The month of May brings an extraordinary milestone for Murals & More organizers and for our community. On Saturday, May 19th, the first Murals & More community mural will be unveiled on 3rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The unveiling is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and a big day is planned for this monumental event. The day will include many fun, family friendly activities spotlighting community art and history. This is the beginning of an era for Cedar Rapids and organizers hope it will spark a flame of community involvement.

“I never imagined that a trip to Alaska almost three years ago would result in something so magnificent as the Murals & More project,” says Lynn Ocken, Executive Director, Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail. “It truly is amazing that a simple idea could result in something of this magnitude…more than just murals, more than just showing who and what our community is all about, more than beautifying areas…so much more. It is exciting to be part of creating a legacy for future generations and I hope everyone will want to be a part of it in some way.”

In anticipation of this event, Murals & More volunteers have been busy creating some fun activities for all. The First Annual Student Art Walk will be one of the highlights of the day. Students from eight Cedar Rapids schools created over 300 works of art. A committee reviewed and selected 25 winning entries to be reproduced on banners. These banners will hang along 3rd Street between 1st and 4th Avenues. In addition, all the artwork submitted will be on display for all to see during the event. Mayor Ron Corbett will be one of our guests and will recognize and present the winning art students with a special award for their winning artwork. So come see how talented and creative the students are. You can even get a copy of one of the banners if you like. Information for obtaining banners or posters will be available during the unveiling or online after the event.

Another exciting activity planned for the day is a unique “scavenger hunt” created and designed by Metro High School. Along with the program, everyone will receive a special “passport” to complete. As you look for the clues and find answers, you will be strolling through the area that eventually will have many more murals. Fill out a card indicating where you want to see murals, complete your “passport” and return them for a chance to win some great prizes.

Special guest Bounnak Thammavong, Freelance Public Artist, of Iowa City, who created this first mural for Murals & More, will be on hand to unveil his work, talk with attendees, and sign programs. His credentials include a Masters in Fine Arts, metal emphasis, 2009, University of Iowa; Master of Arts – sculpture emphasis, 2005, University of Northern Iowa; and Bachelor of Arts – sculpture emphasis, 2003, University of Northern Iowa.

He is a freelance public artist with large scale sculptural artworks, graphic design and illustration. He describes the first mural as a depiction of Cedar Rapids’ historical figures with a background of historical buildings during the years of 1900 to 1925.

“It’s been an honor to be part of the inaugural art project for the Cedar Rapids Mural trail. This project has helped galvanize education, industry, civil, and community groups throughout Cedar Rapids. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to work with the dedicated people of these groups. Along the path toward creating this historic symbol, it’s also been uncommonly fulfilling to discover the unsung treasures of this city. It’s my hope that all will share in the celebration of the resources of Cedar Rapids both past and present; and in turn, look toward the future with optimism and create more historical moments. It would be wonderful if the trail of murals never ended.”

He gives more information describing his enthusiasm for the project on a video at www.crmuralsandmore.org.

There are many more surprises planned for this special day. So come and support the mural project, help plan the future of the mural trail, enjoy students’ artwork and be part of the fun. If you want to get involved, you can meet the many volunteers and Board members and find out more. Spread the word by wearing a Murals & More T-Shirts which will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of banners and T-shirts will go toward the project.