A trio of new murals across Marshalltown will pay homage to the city’s history while celebrating its unique culture and personality, and they are all expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
The Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance announced the murals in conjunction with the launch of National Arts and Humanities Month, and the three sites – the North Wall of the Chop Shop on 13th Street (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Marshalltown), the South Wall of the Thompson True Value on South Center Street (sponsored by the Marshalltown Development Foundation) and downtown Great Western Bank – have already been announced.
Arts and Culture Alliance Director Amber Danielson is excited about the progress so far in 2021 and looks forward to concluding “Season of murals” with the last three projects.
“Although they are all happening at the same time, many of them have been in the works for several years” Danielson said.
Artist Kim Carlino, from Pioneer Valley, Mass., Started work on the Chop Shop mural Monday afternoon, and although she didn’t share any renderings, Danielson described the design as “An energetic backdrop full of energy and dynamism” which should be completed by the end of the week.
Carlino is originally from Michigan and still has several family members in Iowa, so she jumped at the chance to work on the mural, which she titled “Cosmic expansion” after being named a finalist on a previous project at Marshalltown.
“All of my work has this sense of energy and movement, and so this expansion is, like, growth and possibility,” she said. “So I was really thinking about it, with your arts and culture district coming in and building that sense of possibility, really playing on that… I really consider myself a colorist, and color, I think, is really a colorist. Universal login functionality across different cultures.
Jimmy Navarro of Des Moines, who became well known for his “Post card” Stylish murals at places like the Iowa State Fair and in Winterset, have been handpicked to work their magic in downtown Marshalltown on the south wall of the Thompson True Value. Monday afternoon, he was on site with his partner Katie Jensen to prepare what will become a huge tribute to the past, present and future of the city.
“We want to be representative of agriculture and other cultural communities, the things they are known for, the things Marshalltown is known for, and kind of like tornado regrowth and community building,” Jensen said.
Navarro predicted that he will go “Unconditional” next week and work days as long as 3 p.m. to complete the mural. Once started, it has trouble stopping.
“Once you set the dynamics, the layout, everything is easy, and once I put the icons in each letter, that’s the best part” he said. “It’s going to be one of those things that will take you awhile.” It won’t take you a second to look at it. You’re going to have to stop and watch (and notice) ‘Oh, I never saw that last week. I didn’t know they had this.
Danielson pitched the True Value site as a welcome mat to historic downtown Marshalltown, and she believes the mural will accentuate all the neighborhood has to offer.
The third fresco will present a new interpretation of one of the most emblematic pieces in the history of art: that of Vincent Van Gogh “Starry Night” The painting. Local artists Melynda McCord and Landaca Czerniewski were commissioned to create “The Starry Night of Marshalltown” in downtown Great Western Bank, and the mural is particularly significant because their previous version was destroyed at the skate park just days after it was completed.
“It will really be a full left-to-right design of the entire wall, which to date has not been designed to fill all the space.” Danielson said.
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 or