The Iowa City Public Art Program's mission is to enhance our public spaces, to capitalize on Iowa City's reputation as a cultural center, and to build on Iowa City's image as a vital place to live and work. By providing Arts and Culture programs that educate, entertain, stimulate and engage the public, Iowa City works to support the vitality of its diverse population, preserve and interpret Iowa City’s rich heritage, and enhance the desirability of Iowa City as a residence and destination.
The Public Art Advisory Committee was established to oversee the operations of the Public Art program and advise the City Council on potential sites that can be enhanced by the addition of public art and also recommend various pieces of artwork.
The Oracles of Iowa City
conceptualized by Antoine Williams and Donté K. Hayes
The Oracles of Iowa is a partnership between Public Space One and Center for Afrofuturist Studies funded through the Iowa City Public Art Program and the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President of Research.
“The concept and ultimate vision for this mural is a visual call out or beacon to the community and to the greater region of people who will visit Iowa City. The starting thoughts for the theme of this mural comes from Double Consciousness, the term created by African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois as the internal conflict experienced by Black people or colonized groups in an oppressive society.”
“The artists…Antoine Williams and Donté K Hayes, want to make it clear that this mural is not the end of any conversation or action in regards to improving the lives and well-being of Black people who live in and or visit Iowa City. Both murals…exhibit colorful pattern work similar to the ones found in West African traditional rituals and ceremonies. The patterns will furthermore resemble sound waves which connect the murals to their placement on the downtown parking garage across from the University of Iowa Voxman Music Building. Such placement is for the white community, government officials, community leaders, and all people who view the mural or have heard of the mural’s existence to acknowledge the systematic oppression of Black people and be accountable to do more in the community. Most importantly, the mural will speak to Black people’s humanity and not just their pain, giving expression to Black aesthetics in order to create a much-needed social transformation regarding race and not only acceptance, but respect.”
For addition information about the Oracles of Iowa City project, please visit the Public Space One website.
THE PROJECT TEAM:
- Antoine Williams, co-designer
- Donté K Hayes, co-designer
- Jill Wells, lead painter
- Marissa Hernandez, painting fellow
- Janiece Maddox, ICRU painting fellow
- Fred Ebong, videography fellow
- Nichole Shaw, ICRU storytelling fellow
- Dr. Dellyssa Edinboro, CAS education coordinator
- Loyce Arthur, project advisor
- John Engelbrecht, PS1 executive director