The Iowa City Public Art Program was established by the Iowa City Council in 1997. The purpose of the Public Art Program in Iowa City 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.

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Current Public Art Opportunities


Iowa City Farmer's Market Placemaking Art Project

Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp and surround areas


Call to Artists

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department is interested in soliciting proposals for the installation of Placemaking Art in and around the Iowa City Farmers Market area including the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp and surrounding market area. The Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee will be responsible for reviewing responses to this Call and interviewing artists.

Project Description

The Iowa City Farmer’s Market, which occurs annually from May through October is located in and around the first floor of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp. The Saturday Farmer’s Market expands beyond the parking ramp into Washington Street between Gilbert and Van Buren Streets. Protection from the weather in the parking ramp is an attractive feature but the area provides little visual appeal that could enhance the general farmer’s market experience. Proposals are being accepted from artists for visually appealing enhancements to the market area including the first-floor parking ramp and on the exterior of the ramp along Washington Street. Including components that serve as signage to identify the area as the location of the Iowa City’s Farmer’s Market are encouraged.

Project goals

  • Use of the artwork to identify the space as the area where the Iowa City Farmer’s Market occurs at the Washington Street entrance and as means of wayfinding to the market for visitors already in the parking ramp.
  • To create an aesthetically pleasing, creative and original design/artwork that makes the parking garage a more welcoming, tranquil and friendly place to be.
  • To utilize a farmer’s market theme that compliments the existing mural under the College Street bridge.

Enhancements that can be considered but are not limited to:

Murals/installations on:

  • Support columns

  • Entry way columns

  • Exterior of the parking ramp

Banners/flags attached to:

  • Support Columns

  • Ceiling of parking ramp

  • Outside of parking ramp

  • Railing on the east side of ramp

  • Exterior railings of upper floors on parking ramp

  • Entranceways to the lower level of the parking ramp

  • Freestanding on permanently installed poles throughout the outdoor Farmer’s Market area

Enhancement of existing picnic tables on the east side of ramp

NOTE - Consideration could be made to modify the existing signage within the parking ramp to accommodate the artwork.

Project Budget

Budget for the project is $7000. All costs related to design work; food, lodging and transportation for the artist; insurance, materials; scaffolding, site related safety measures, labor, etc. are limited to this budget.

Project Timeline

  • Deadline for responses -Friday, June 22nd, 2018 – 5:00 PM
  • Notification to applicants of finalist -Friday, June 29th, 2018
  • Finalists meet with Public Art Advisory Committee - Thursday July 12th, 2018 - 3:30 PM
  • Finalist Notification – Friday, July 13th
  • Completion of the Project – September 15th

Application Submittal Procedure and Requirements

  • A one-page artist statement describing experience and interest in the project.
  • A current resume (no more than three pages).
  • Colored rendering(s) of the proposed design for the artwork.
  • Detailed explanation or description of surface preparation (if applicable), installation methods and materials to be used to ensure durability.
  • Description of safety measures that will be used to the secure site both during the project creation as well during non-working hours of the project.

All submissions should be submitted electronically by sending to Marcia Bollinger, Iowa City Public Art Coordinator at or mailed to 410 East Washington, Iowa City, Iowa 52240, attn. Marcia Bolinger. All email submissions should be submitted in a .pdf format and will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Additional Information:

  • All painted surfaces must be sealed with two coats of anti‐graffiti protective coating that will provide resistance to vandalism and the weather. The expected lifespan will be evaluated by the committee.
  • Payment for the work will be made in three installments – upon execution of artists agreement, at a mid-point in the project, and when work is completed satisfactorily. It is the responsibility of the artist to keep staff apprised of progress on the installation so that work can be viewed at several stages throughout the process.
  • Installation of the artwork should occur on weekday evenings, Saturday after 1:00 PM or anytime Sunday when there is less vehicular traffic or parking in the ramp. Parking staff can assist in blocking off areas as work needed.
  • All materials submitted as part of the Call to Artist will become property of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department.


Building Plans for Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp

Pictures of parking ramp and surrounding areas

Send To:

Marcia Bollinger/






Public Art Matching Fund Grants Available for 2017- 2018  

Deadlines: Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 and Friday, March 23, 2018

Please check back in September 2018 for deadline dates for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

The City of Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) has once again funded its Matching Grant Project, announcing that it will provide up to $2,000 in matching funds for public art projects in 2017 and 2018. The first deadline for proposals is October 20, 2017.

Funded through the Iowa City Public Art Program, the Matching Grant Project will consider visual, audio, or performance-based art such as sculpture, murals, performances, readings, interactive exhibits, video projections, soundscapes, spoken word, and other mediums. To be eligible, proposals must be for projects that will be publicly accessible and viewable within Iowa City city limits. Art may be displayed or performed on private property with property owner permission.

Call to Artists


Printable poster

Proposals for the first round of funding are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 20, 2017. The deadline for the second round is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018.  Applications should be sent to Marcia Bollinger with the City’s Neighborhood and Development Services Department at

Final selections will be determined by members of PAAC.

For more information, contact Marcia Bollinger at 319-356-5237 or

This grant is made possible by the Iowa City Public Art Program.