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Czech Village New Bohemian SSMID Commissions Ali Hval for Gateway Mural

Czech Village New Bohemian SSMID Commissions Ali Hval for Gateway Mural
Rendering of the proposed mural by artist Ali Hval for the Czech Village New Bohemian SSMID

Cedar Rapids, Iowa – July 20, 2020 – The Czech Village New Bohemian Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has partnered with Murals & More to commission Iowa City-based artist Ali Hval for a new mural in Czech Village.

Artist Ali Hval plans to meld the traditional Art Nouveau style with themes of Iowa, taking inspiration from renown Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, for a mural that will welcome visitors to Czech Village as they enter the neighborhood on the 16th Ave bridge. The wall to be painted is the northeast side of the Novak Building facing the Cedar River.

Murals & More has consulted the SSMID group throughout the entire process and contributed funds to support the project.

“This mural will be an iconic landmark for Czech Village and all of Cedar Rapids. Murals & More is so excited to help make it a reality. Connecting the dots between a group with a vision for a project, finding a stellar artist, then lining up the details is what we do best,” said Nick Ludwig, co-chair of Murals & More.

Hval is set to begin painting the week of July 26, 2020, and anticipates completing the work mid-August. An unveiling event to celebrate the mural will follow.

Additional community partners supporting the project include The District, a Main Street Iowa CommunityThe Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; Altorfer Rentals; Diamond Vogel; the local Building Trades group of the Hawkeye Area Labor Council; DA BUNCH Painting; the City of Cedar Rapids; Sue and Jim Novak; Mary Kay McGrath; and individual members of the SSMID.

Czech Village New Bohemia SSMID

A Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) is a financing mechanism used to fund district-specific improvements and services to supplement, not replace, existing municipal services. The Czech Village/New Bohemia SSMID seeks to improve the neighborhood and the Cedar Rapids community in a variety of ways, including economic development; communications and advocacy; capital improvements; enhanced maintenance; and parking/transportation management. Learn more at

Ali Hval

Ali Hval currently lives and works in Iowa City. In 2019, she received her MFA with Honors at the University of Iowa in Painting and Drawing with a minor concentration in Ceramics. Her work is interdisciplinary, combining painting, fabric, ceramic, sculpture, and installation. She is a 2020 resident at the Chautauqua School of Art in Chautauqua, New York. In 2015, she was chosen as one of ten recipients for the nationally competitive $15,000 Windgate Fellowship by the Center of Creativity, Craft, and Design in Asheville, North Carolina. Ali graduated summa cum laude with Honors from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 2015 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She has had work in multiple exhibitions across the country, including Site: Brooklyn in New York, South Bay Contemporary in Los Angeles, and the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center at Hastings College curated by Kate Mothes. An avid muralist, she has completed over 14 public murals and projects in various communities across the Midwest. Learn more at

Murals & More

Murals & More’s is a non-profit organization based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and led by a board of dedicated volunteers. Murals & More are advocates for artists; champions of our city. We celebrate our community with public art as the medium and local architecture as the framework. In the years to come, we envision people traveling along the mural trail, not only enjoying art, but learning about our community as well. As the downtown streetscapes become revitalized with artistically-inspired facades, they will create cultural destinations for residents and visitors alike. For more information about Murals & More and the Cedar Rapids Mural Trails, please connect with us socially on Facebook or Instagram or visit our website at