The Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) has announced awards of $5,800 for five public art projects through its Matching Grant Project, which matches funds up to $2,000 for local visual, audio, or performance-based art. Proposals are submitted by artists, and members of PAAC make final award selections.

The most recently approved projects include:

The Iowa Disability Creative Works Gallery: $300 has been awarded to assist in printing materials and promoting a fall art show for the Iowa Disability Creative Works Gallery,, an online gallery that showcases the talent of persons with disabilities. The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at the Environmental Education Center at Iowa City’s Eastside Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE. The public will be able to meet the artists, view their work, and purchase art.

Open Washington Ribbon Project: PAAC has approved $1,500 for the purchase of additional materials and time for artist Thomas Agran to extend the popular Open Washington Ribbon Project. In this public art display, community members tie colorful ribbons to construction fences lining Washington Street in Downtown Iowa City to provide a visual diversion from the construction work. The PAAC funding will extend the display through October.

Mind Travelers’ Aquarium: This project will feature seven glass cases filled with fiber-based underwater creatures that will be displayed in the Fountain Lobby of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive. The public will be able to help create parts of the project by attending one of four free workshops scheduled between Sept. 6 and Nov. 25, 2016. The PAAC has awarded $1,500 to artist Sayuri Sasaki Hemann to support the Mind Travelers’ Aquarium, part of the ongoing “Urban Aquarium” exhibit which began in Portland, Oregon in 2009. A slideshow about the project will be made available to the public in mid-November. More information about the workshops and the aquarium may be found at

The Center for Afrofuturistic Studies: $2,000 has been awarded this project, which will help fund presentations that are part of the 2016 “Beyond Realism” speaker series. The public will be able to engage with three nationally recognized artists to discuss their works, with themes that include race, inclusivity, and the arts. The sessions will take place at Public Space 1 (PS1) at 120 N. Dubuque St. Poet and collagist Krista Franklin will discuss her current work from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 and put her final work on display Sept. 23. Curator and installation artist Alexandria Eregbu will speak at the Iowa Book Festival and exhibit her work at PS1 on Oct. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. Filmmaker Devin Cain will deliver lectures on Afrofuturism and Afrosurrealism from 6 to 7 p.m. at PS1 on Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, with his final exhibit scheduled Nov. 25.

Project Playground: This art event will bring programmers, designers, writers, engineers, and photographers together to create interactive video games at the playground next to the Iowa City Public Library at 123 S. Linn St. Anyone on the playground can interact with the games through clickable buttons placed on the playground equipment and monitors placed inside Merge. PAAC will provide $500 for Project Playground.

For more information on these projects, the Matching Grant Project, or the Iowa City Public Art program, visit or contact Marcia Bollinger at 319-356-5237 or

Date of publication

Thursday, August 25, 2016