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.

Iowa City Public Art Brochure 2018

Iowa City Public Art Strategic Plan 2019

Iowa City Public Art Management Plan

Iowa City Artists Registry

Sign-up to receive public art news and information at www.icgov.org/e-subscriptions. 

Current Opportunities


Public Art Matching Funds

Application are being accepted through Friday, August 27, 2021 at 5:00 PM

Online Application

The Public Art Matching Fund is available for residents of the Iowa City community to submit beneficial ideas that merit consideration for possible funding/support. The Matching Fund Program is available for art projects (visual, audio or performance based) that are located in Iowa City and accessible to the general public.

Maximum request for matching funds is $2000.

Submissions are reviewed by the Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) according to the Matching Fund Evaluation Rubrics developed for the program. The committee typically meets on the first Thursday of the month at 3:30 PM in the Helling Conference Room of the Iowa City City Hall, 410 E. Washington St. or by remote meetings through ZOOM as necessary.


  • Publicly accessible and viewable within Iowa City– on public or private property (approval of owner required).
  • Murals, sculpture, installations that are permanent or temporary that will withstand human and weather elements associated with the installation location.
  • Visual, audio or performance-based projects.
  • Projects that will be installed/completed by June 30, 2022 (with possible extension due to COVID restrictions)


  • Materials and supplies necessary for the creation of the artwork
  • Wages/stipend for artists/performers to create the work
  • Contract labor for installation such as site prep, concrete pouring, tile installation


  • In-kind services
  • commodities
  • other grants
  • personal contributions
  • other donations


  • Events or performances that are a part of an applicant’s regular programs
  • Those that do not have the arts as their primary focus
  • Those intending to influence public policy or to proselytize a belief
  • Those that advertise or promote a for-profit business
  • Those for which patrons will be charged admission
  • Fees to secure a site (permits, purchasing land)
  • Food/Beverages
  • Events with a primary focus of fundraising


  • Organizations, schools, individuals and government units located within Iowa City such as:
  • Individual artists
  • Nonprofit 501(c) (3) arts organizations
  • Privately owned/operated businesses


Artwork proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the Public Art Advisory Committee according to the Matching Fund Evaluation Rubrics summarize below:

  • Project Details
  • Is the overall application clear and complete?
  • Does application clearly describe the artwork/event and materials?
  • Are there images/site plans & how well do they illustrate project?
  • Does project adhere to PAAC definition of public art?
  • Is project located in public space and available to the general public?
  • Does artist show the technical ability to carry out the project’s scope?
  • Project Costs and Budget
  • Was it clear as to what expenses matching funds would cover?
  • Were funds outside of the matching funds available? Will matching funds make a difference in the overall project budget/ability to be executed?
  • If applicant has received Public Art Matching Funds for a previous project, does the response to the Policy Regarding the Eligibility of Applicants Who Have Previously Received Matching Funds adequately indicate that receiving additional funds is warranted? 


  • Degree to which activity has specific outcomes and measures
  • Does project engage with broader community?
  • Does project have community partners? How well are they integrated?


Online Application (All submissions must be submitted through the online application process) 

  • Artist background information including samples of relevant past work or documentation of like-experience and skill.
  • A narrative statement to demonstrate that the artwork will be accessible at a location that is open and freely available to the general public.
  • A narrative of the artist’s concept including project details, if applicable:
  • Size, weight, medium, materials
  • A site plan with building and grade elevation and/or images of building facades showing the placement of the proposed artwork within the site proposed.
  • Installation details (foundation, mounting, distance to street)
  • Maintenance requirements of permanent installations and commitment of applicant to carry out that maintenance for a period no less than 2 years.
  • Visual representations of the artwork will be submitted in one of the following formats: ▪ jpgs (image resolution 1800 pixels on longest side);
  •  A model of the artwork, or
  • A graphic or artist illustration depicting several views of the artwork.
  • The artist will acknowledge that ownership will be considered at time of review.

For questions or additional information, please contact Marcia Bollinger at marcia-bollinger@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5237.

Resource Management Building Community Mural Project

Call to Artists  

Submission Form 
- Deadline is Friday, July 23, 2021

Project Description

As part of the upcoming Climate Fest events, scheduled for the week of September 19 – 25, 2021. the City of Iowa City’s Climate Action and Outreach Division are sponsoring a Community Mural Project to be located on the north facing wall of the City’s Resource Management building located at 1306 Gilbert Court. The wall to feature the mural (photo to the right) is approximately 12’ tall by 160’ long. The goal of the project is to collaborate with local artists in developing a design for a climate/environmental themed mural for this building. The selected artist would design and apply the footprint of the mural on the wall and community members would participate in a “Community Paint Day” on or around September 23, 2021. The mural would highlight the efforts related to climate action as well as help catalyze placemaking efforts in this commercial district.  The Iowa City Bike Library, located north of the building are considering a similar project to compliment the future mural to continue to activate the area.


Potential themes for the completed mural might include but not limited to:
  • Clean Energy
  • Low Carbon or active transportation options
  • Natural areas/Prairie restoration
  • Pollinator habitat
  • Water Quality
  • Air quality
  • Project Budget

The budget for the project is $6000 and must include all costs associated with artist’s fees, equipment, and supplies to protect the site, prepare the wall surface and oversee the painting of the mural by community members. Funds will be paid to the artist in three separate payments of $2000: approval of artist and design concept by the Public Art Advisory Committee, completion of design footprint on the building and successful completion of mural.

Design Considerations

Due to the size of the north facing wall as well as its vivid existing color, the mural design could incorporate the existing color in the design to reduce the area of the proposed mural. The west facing (front) of the building can also be utilized to carry over elements of the mural to allow for a smoother transition between the two walls.

Project Timeline
  • July 23, 2021 - Deadline for submissions
  • July 30, 2021 – Review of proposals by stakeholders and recommendation developed for the Public Art Advisory Committee
  • August 5, 2021 -Review of the recommendation by the Public Art Advisory Committee
  • August 9, 2021 – Notification to artists of selection.
  • September 6, 2021 (sooner?)– Wall made available to artist
  • September 23, 2021 – Community Paint Day
  • October 15, 2021 – Project completed
Selection Criteria

 Submissions will be evaluated on artistic merit, creativity, appropriateness to the suggested themes and experience with coordinating community mural painting projects.

Key responsibilities of the artist
  • Develop of final design in collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Present design concept to the Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee at their August 5, 2021 meeting.
  • Proper preparation of the building surface and installation of the mural footprint design on the building prior to September 23, 2021
  • Provide all necessary equipment and supplies to enable community participants to complete the mural
  • Oversee the “Community Paint Day” on September 23, 2021 providing management of a safe, efficient, organized, and successful event. 
  • Ensuring completion of the finished mural prior to October 15, 2021.
Key responsibilities of the City
  • Develop agreement with the artist to detail all terms of the project and timeline for payment of commission.
  • Provide access to space as needed by the artist to create the footprint of the mural, on the community paint day and at any time necessary to complete the mural.
  • Promote the event as part of the Climate Fest activities planned for the week of September.

Contact Marcia Bollinger, Iowa City Public Art Coordinator  319-356-5237 with questions or need for additional information.