A mural and a statue are shown in Downtown Iowa City.

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.

*NEW*  Iowa City Public Art Interactive Map 

Iowa City Public Art Brochure 2018

Iowa City Public Art Strategic Plan 2019

Iowa City Public Art Management Plan

Iowa City Artists Registry

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South District Bus Stop Bench Project – Artist Mentor Request for Qualifications

Apply online now!

The Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee and the South District Neighborhood Association are seeking qualifications for an Artist Mentor who would be interested in being on a selection committee to select an Emerging Artist and then serve as a mentor to that artist through the process of design and fabrication of a bus stop bench. The Emerging Artist will be the design leader in the project, while the Artist Mentor will advise on functionality and techniques to accomplish the design intent. Compensation for the mentor shall be $2,000.

The bench design must be ADA accessible, withstand all weather conditions for a minimum of three years and the Emerging Artist will be responsible for the maintenance of the bench for three years, beginning with installation.

The ideal Artist Mentor will have experience working on public art projects and be able to help coach the selected artist in the process of:

  1. Getting public input from the neighborhood through in person or electronic meetings (10)
  2. Selecting appropriate materials for fabrication (20)
  3. Fabricating the design (20)
  4. Installing the bench (10)
  5. Instructing the artist on maintenance techniques (5)

The $2,000 fee is a lump sum payment and is based on an estimate of hours for each part of the process listed above. The estimate of time to be spent on each is shown in parentheses. The fee will remain at $2,000 regardless of how the time to accomplish the tasks is spent.

The Emerging Artist and Artist Mentor will be responsible for working with neighborhood residents to gain input and support for the project with the goal to install a unique, attractive, artistic bench in the neighborhood by late fall of 2022 or spring of 2023.

Project Details

The bench design should highlight the South District neighborhood’s rich cultural diversity. We desire that they be functional landmarks in the neighborhood. We imagine neighbors saying, “I will meet you at the [insert descriptor, such as Rainbow, or Dragon, or Pyramid] bus stop bench.” Ideal designs will respond to or capture the diversity of language, background, and culture of the South District residents.

The location of the bench will be at the intersection of Highway 6 East @ Heinz Road (stop 7126).

The location of the bus stop is shown.



The $12,000 budget for the project includes Artist Mentor compensation of $2,000, the complete the design, fabrication and installation of the bench and the Artist’s compensation.

Artist Mentors Responsibilities

After the Artist Mentor is selected, they will participate in the Public Art Advisory Committee and Neighborhood Association’s selection of the Artist, meet regularly with and be available to the artist for questions and assistance throughout the artistic process. Artist mentors may be asked for recommendation on materials, design concepts, design details, fabrication techniques, installation, and budget. The intent is to help mentor emerging artists with the skills needed for building a career as an artist.

Submission requirements

People interested in serving as an Artist Mentor should submit an application online through our Artist Mentor Application. Information needed includes: 

  • Applicant’s contact information.
  • Statement of Interest.
  • Maximum two-page resume that outlines art accomplishments.
  • A minimum of three (3) and maximum of eight (8) images of past works.  Identify images with project title, location, date completed, media, dimensions, budget, commissioning agency, project partners, and/or brief description of the project/conceptual information.
Review Process/Criteria

A committee of South District Neighborhood residents and the Public Art Advisory Committee will be responsible for reviewing responses and recommending the Artist Mentor based on the following criteria:

  • Quality, creativity & strength of past work as provided in the application materials
  • Technical competence demonstrated by past work
  • Understanding of the project goals as indicated in the statement of interest
  • Relevance of submitted materials to the project
  • Aptitude for planning and budgeting as indicated by past project information submitted
  • Experience working on public art projects to meet the project goals as indicated in the statement of interest
  • Experience and commitment to participate with agency/community as part of concept development

Preference will be given to Iowa City artists or those who create art or exhibit their art in Iowa City.

Project Schedule
  • RFQ for Artist Mentors published July 11
  • Artist Mentor Submission Deadline – July 29 – 5:00 PM
  • Selection of Artist Mentor by Public Art Advisory & Neighborhood rep – August 4
  • Artist Mentor assists in writing RFQ for Artists, between Aug. 5 and published September 15
  • RFQ Submission deadline for Artists – October 14
  • Selection of Artist by Neighborhood representatives – October 21 (date TBD)
  • SDNA proposes Artist selection to PAAC – Nov 3
  • SDNA Approves Final Designs – by January 5, 23 (or TBD)
  • SDNA shares final design with PAAC – Feb. 2, 23
  • Installation Completed – June, 2023



The Oracles of Iowa City

conceptualized by Antoine Williams and Donté K. Hayes

The Oracles of Iowa City 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. 


  • 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