Nationally Renowned Artist Ruben Aguirre Selected to Paint Mural
Cedar Rapids, Iowa – September 1, 2020 – Third Avenue in the Kingston Village district of Cedar Rapids is about to get a lot more colorful. September marks the start of Murals & More’s latest project, transforming the side of the 120 3rd Ave SW, home of locally-owned DASH Coffee Roasters, from plain gray into a vibrant work of public art. Respected and sought-after artist, Ruben Aguirre, will commence painting at the beginning of the month.
Partnering with the Cedar Rapids Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, building owners Rowell Hardware Development LLC, the owners of DASH Coffee Roasters, and with the sponsorship and support of ImOn Communications, Murals & More went through an extensive process to select the perfect artist to bring the space to life.
“We first began to talk about getting a mural on the side of this building more than two years ago,” said Murals & More Co-Chair, Adam Burger. “Finding the right artist that could utilize the large surface area in a meaningful and compelling manner, while stylistically matching what we envisioned, was really important to us. I could not be more thrilled that Ruben agreed to be a part of this project and gift us with one of his amazing murals.”
Based out of Chicago, Ruben’s work is a blend of abstract and formalism which relies heavily on the architecture and structure of building upon which he is enhancing. For this particular mural, he will be incorporating a base palette of blues and teals, accented with hardline shapes, patterns and lines, and pops of red. Work on the mural is expected to take roughly two weeks, with anticipated completion by mid-September.
“The positive impact public art has on a community cannot be over-empathized. It builds solidarity among neighbors and boosts economic development throughout the region,” remarked Tyler Oswood of Rowell Hardware Development LLC. “As development and building owners, we are excited to be able to work with these tremendous partners to better our city and give back to our community.”
This project is also part of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance’s core function of Community Development to support district beautification and to champion quality of life projects. The completion of this project fulfills multiple tactics outlined in the Downtown Vision Plan, a framework to create an even greater, more vibrant experience in Downtown Cedar Rapids.
Artist Bio: Ruben Aguirre
Ruben Aguirre (b. 1979, Chicago, IL) is a Chicago based painter who is expanding on the roots of style writing with a non narrative approach to mural painting. His interest lies in drawing attention to underutilized infrastructure as a potential substrate. He has produced a number of murals in the Chicago area, across the U.S., and abroad. Aguirre’s work is an intersection of abstract graffiti, formalism, and mural painting. His work is informed by architecture and plays with re-imagining public space, while investigating pattern, hard edge painting, and color field through the use of the spray can, with traces of typographic letter structure from his graffiti roots. He has exhibited in The National Museum of Mexican Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, and in the Hyde Park Art Center. His work has been covered by the Atlantic, and the Washington Post. Aguirre’s public works have been commissioned for schools, residential spaces, private businesses, as well as various neighborhood development organizations, and clients such as Adidas, Linked IN, and McGraw Hill. Learn more: Ruben Aguirre.
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 crmurals.org.
Cedar Rapids Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District
In 1986, a Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) was created by vote of the downtown property owners for community development, streetscape and beautification improvements. They agreed to tax themselves as an additional assessment every year to revitalize the area. Today, the Downtown Commission is composed of property owners or their representatives appointed by the Mayor to continue these initiatives, and remain visionaries in planning for the vitality of downtown Cedar Rapids. The Downtown SSMID Commission works closely with the Economic Alliance to help carry out the Commission’s strategic plan and meet its goals. Learn more: Cedar Rapids Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District.
Rowell Hardware Development, LLC
Rowell Hardware Development is a group of local investors and developers who are behind the properties Rehab After the Flood. As a real estate development and investment company, the group focuses on mixed use and commercial real estate in the Cedar Rapids region.
ImOn Communications provides high-speed Internet, cable TV, and telephone services to residents of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha, Iowa and fiber Internet and phone services in Iowa City, Iowa. ImOn also provides businesses throughout the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Corridor, as well as Dubuque, with advanced broadband communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. ImOn was the first to introduce fiber-to-the-home services in Cedar Rapids in 2011 and residential gigabit service in 2015. As part of ImOn’s philosophy of supporting their communities, the company provides free community Wi-Fi service to Downtown Cedar Rapids, the McGrath Amphitheatre, Newbo City Market, the ImOn Ice Arena, and other outdoor areas near the Williams Blvd. public library and the Jane Boyd Community House. ImOn also provides free Wi-Fi at various parks in Hiawatha, Iowa, the Iowa City Ped Mall, and in Dubuque at the Fighting Saints Arena and the Five Flags Center. ImOn is locally owned and operated and offers customers tremendous value and choice for services. For more information regarding ImOn Communications, visit www.ImOn.net or call 319-298-6484.
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