People & Places

Downtown Rotary installing art in four Cedar Rapids parks

Sculptures going in as part of Public Art Appreciation Day

This sculpture by Cedar Rapids artist Tom Newport, is being installed at Noelridge Park by the Dowtown Rotary Club as part of Public Art Apprciation Day on Saturday, Sept. 30. It is one of four sculptures being installed in four Cedar Rapids parks as part of a $10,000 project. (Submitted Photo)
This sculpture by Cedar Rapids artist Tom Newport, is being installed at Noelridge Park by the Dowtown Rotary Club as part of Public Art Apprciation Day on Saturday, Sept. 30. It is one of four sculptures being installed in four Cedar Rapids parks as part of a $10,000 project. (Submitted Photo)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — On Saturday, volunteers will descend upon four Cedar Rapids parks — one in each quadrant of the city — to install public art projects.

On Public Art Appreciation Day, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. — the Downtown Cedar Rapids Rotary Club will install sculptures in Bever, Cherry Hill, Jones and Noelridge parks.

The four metal sculptures were created by Cedar Rapids artist Tom Newport. The $10,000 project includes landscaping around each sculpture.

Project Manager Barbara Green said Rotary members chose the project because it allows them to install artwork across the entire city.

“It’s such a wonderful project for Rotarians because being in Downtown Rotary, we do have members from all four corners of the city,” Green said. “We thought this was a good, communitywide project.”

Green said all four sculptures are unique, yet similar in their design.

Newport, of Tom Newport Design, is a 1977 graduate of Cornell College. He has more than 30 years of experience as a sculptor, jeweler and metalsmith.

According to a news release, Downtown Rotary Club members identified the need for public art in several high-traffic parks in the community.

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In addition to sculptures, each art piece will be accompanied by landscaping and a rock marker with the name of the artist. The city of Cedar Rapids has provided the land, foundation, base and marker and will handle future maintenance of the art pieces.

“Public art brings value to a city by creating a sense of identity for the city as a whole and also specifically for neighborhoods. Public art can create a visual distinction for a city while also being a key factor in the cultural scene of that city. The cultural scene, in turn, makes the city more dynamic for its denizens and aids in attracting businesses and tourism dollars,” Bill Stamats, chairman with the Cedar Rapids Visual Arts Commission, said in the release.

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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