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The Arts & Culture Alliance, in partnership with the City of Marshalltown and its Police & Fire Departments, are excited to announce an artist has been selected for public art at the new Police & Fire Building. The Marshalltown Public Art Committee (MPAC), a program of the Alliance, led a selection committee through the process which began in March. Executive Director of the Arts and Culture Alliance states that, “the addition of public art at the Police & Fire Building is an amazing opportunity for our community and we are thrilled to commission another talented artist to create a special piece for Marshalltown.”
The selection committee received 29 nation-wide responses to the request for qualifications which led to the committee narrowing the selection down to three finalists who were tasked with developing site-specific concepts. During the month of September, the selection committee engaged with the community to gather input on the 3 proposals to guide the committee to a final decision. This project received over 408 individual comments for input on the 3 final proposals, which far exceeds the amount of feedback received on the 2 prior projects led by MPAC, Echo on 13th Street and Drills at the MHS Roundhouse.
We are excited to announce the selected finalist, Frank Swanson of Littleton, Colorado. Frank is a stone sculptor who is known for his unique method of stone cutting. The selected artwork of Frank is called Symbiosis, defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups. The Marshalltown Police and Fire Departments work in a symbiotic partnership with the community to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the city. His sculpture is designed to reflect this relationshipbetween the three groups as they work together to make Marshalltown a thriving and flourishing community. Frank states, “I want to create sculpture that will, in the future, stimulate questions that have not yet been asked, and this is what excites me about creating public art”.
The sculpture will start as a single block of stone that is shaped into a triangle that represents the three-sided partnership. The stone will then be cut into three interlocking pieces. These three pieces fit together as one unit, representing the family of Police, Fire Fighters and Community and their relationship with each other. Each piece shapes the other pieces as they work together to form the triangulated whole. The benches will be made from the off falls that come off of the sculpture when forming the basic triangle. The two large benches, surrounding the main pieces, encourage and invite people to interact with the sculpture and with each other by creating centers of conversation, focus, and inclusion. Marshalltown’s Police Department Administrative Assistant and Selection Committee Member, Alicia Hunter adds, "We are very happy about the selection of artist Frank Swanson. His concept Symbiosis is unique in its design and allows you to think and feel the meaning of the piece. His one of a kind processes of sculpting from a single block of stone brings something special to this project. We are excited to have this interactive piece displaying the partnership between police, fire and the community."
The selection committee strongly believes Frank did an outstanding job in accomplishing the project goals to exemplify service, honor, and unity; Represent respect and pride for the community; and to Create an impact for, and compliment the distinct qualities of, the Linn Creek District. MPAC and Selection Committee Member Ben Fletcher says “we look forward to working with such an experienced and professional artist like Frank Swanson. His engaging piece will inspire residents and visitors for years to come”. The anticipated timeline for the installation of the artwork is slated for June of 2020.