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Shoreline Signals Selects Preliminary Artists


Shoreline Signals, an initiative that will integrate public art with Central Iowa Water Trails (CIWT), has selected three artists for preliminary consideration. Matthew Mazzotta, +/& — artists Amanda Lovelee and Emily Stover — and Andrea Polli have all been tasked with designing ways to beckon people to the river while simultaneously communicating safety for entrance and usage.

Shoreline Signals is the fulfillment of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “OUR TOWN” grant to Polk County and Bravo Greater Des Moines. Our Town projects integrate arts, culture and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical and social outcomes.

Governor Kim Reynolds, Great Outdoors Foundation, Capital Crossroads Incubator, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Polk County Conservation, Polk County Emergency Management and Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa were all endorsers of the grant application. Polk County and Bravo Greater Des Moines have engaged Group Creatives, a solution-driven public art consulting company, to oversee and facilitate the project.

The artists, who all boast extensive backgrounds in large-scale installations, will submit their proposals for Shoreline Signals in April. A selection committee will then determine the final artist, with installation planned for late summer 2022.

“Shoreline Signals is just one example of how art can act as a problem solver,” Sally Dix, Executive Director of Bravo Greater Des Moines, said. “We are confident that these installations will be a catalyst for similar projects in our region.”

Prep Iowa

As a whole, Central Iowa Water Trails aims at creating an inclusive environment around outdoor recreation.

“Waterways provide a universal opportunity to engage in nature, regardless of nationality, background or ethnicity,” Hannah Inman, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Outdoors Foundation, the fundraising arm of Central Iowa Water Trails, said. “Communicating current water safety in a way that transcends language is crucial, and art is the ideal way to do that.”

The selection process is planned to conclude in late spring 2021 with onsite beta testing and fabrication beginning as early as July.

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