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Collaborative Mural Installed at NewBo City Market

Cedar Rapids, Iowa – A large canvas painting by Artist Ali Hval was installed today at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. The piece, titled Bumble Bee Bouquet, was created in collaboration with City View Community High School students. The project was coordinated and funded by Murals & More, with additional sponsorship from BankIowa.

City View Students surveyed shopkeepers, staff, and patrons of NewBo City Market to understand what makes the market special, then worked with Hval to create a design to represent those ideas. To bring the project to life, the students invested a full school day to paint the canvas under the direction of Hval.

Hval took inspiration from themes of community connectedness in creation of the design. In a statement about the artwork, Hval writes, “A bumble been serves as a unifying force in this collaborative painting, symbolizing interconnectedness within the community. As it carries a
ribbon, it metaphorically ties together the diverse threads of community, echoing its role as a pollinator weaving through the wildflowers of Iowa.”

As a public magnet school focused on immersing students in the community, City View students learn through hands-on projects.

“Painting the mural, I was surprised and impressed with how much we got to be involved with the process from beginning to the end. Getting to help paint the canvas was fun. Everyone got to help regardless of their skillset,” said one student named Jonny.

Sophie, another student, added, “Painting the mural was fun, creative, and something I would not usually get to participate in.”

NewBo City Market staff welcomed the collaborative process to add new artwork to their space. “As a non-profit small business incubator that uplifts artists and entrepreneurs alike, we are so thrilled to have worked with Murals & More to support an incredible artist such as Ali Hval. Art and economic development go hand in hand through placemaking efforts such as these,” said Sarah Blais, senior director of market operations at NewBo City Market.

Space to create the artwork was donated by de Novo Marketing, next-door neighbors to NewBo City Market, with offices in The Cherry Building.

Curt Gandy is a representative for BankIowa, a sponsor of the project, who assisted with installation of the large canvas.

“BankIowa often looks for unique ways to support our communities, so when Murals & More contacted me about an opportunity to support a new public art project at NewBo City Market, I was all in,” said Gandy. “Like many who live in the Cedar Rapids community, I enjoy seeing the
murals that have enhanced our city landscape. BankIowa believes in supporting art and creative expression, so we are thrilled to partner with Murals and More, artist Ali Hval, and students from the City View High School in bringing a new piece of art to NewBo City Market for all to enjoy.”

About Murals & More

Since 2012, Murals & More has operated as a volunteer-led nonprofit to utilize local architecture as the backdrop for public art in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The organization works to connect artists with space to create and inspire through the understanding that public art builds common ground among people in the community and bolsters a sense of belonging, while contributing to a community’s identity and sense of place.

About NewBo City Market

NewBo City Market is a nonprofit organization showcasing our community’s assets, inspiration, and potential by cultivating new business and entrepreneurship and by supporting local artists and artisans. Opened in October 2012, NewBo City Market is a unique urban place focused on economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and community building. We are a natural draw for new retail, entertainment, and recreation opportunities; a complement to arts, health and wellness, and entrepreneurial organizations; and an essential asset for attracting young professionals to the area. With over 400,000 visitors annually, we are a public space promoting health, happiness, and well-being in the heart of our community. Learn more at

About BankIowa

Since 1921, BankIowa has been a dependable Eastern Iowa community partner. With over $800 million in assets, BankIowa proudly remains an independent and locally owned bank. It offers modern consumer and business banking services including investment, trust, and wealth management products. BankIowa consistently earns the highest (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability from Bauer Financial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm. BankIowa has offices in Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Independence, Jesup, Lamont, Norway, Marion, Rowley, and Waterloo. Member FDIC

Bumble Bee Bouquet, Artist Ali Hval, Murals & More, NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Bumble Bee Bouquet, by Ali Hval, in collaboration with City View Community High School, was installed at NewBo City Market on June 10, 2024, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.