ImaginArt in the Alleys

City of Marion

Funding Received: 2014
Marion, IA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
May 31, 2016

The 24th annual Marion Arts Festival took place on May 21st (a glorious day in Iowa!), bringing fifty notable artists from across the country to City Square Park. In conjunction with this year’s festivities, volunteers from the City of Marion, Chamber of Commerce, and Uptown Marion’s Main Street organization were on hand to provide information on some of the exciting things happening in our community, including our ArtPlace America project!

Attendees strolling by our booth got a sneak peek of nine artists’ renderings, and project descriptions were enthusiastically shared on behalf of Marion’s own Cara Briggs Farmer (pictured here second from right), John Schwartzkopf (Cedar Rapids, IA), Dale Merrill (Mt. Vernon, IA), Dan Perry (Waterloo, IA), Matthew Kargol (Oskaloosa, IA), Jake Balcom (Kansas City, MO), Luke Crawley and Quincy Owens (Indianapolis, IN), Chris Miller (Calais, VT), and Cecilia Lueza (Miami, FL). The Artist Selection Panel has approved three additional artists with an extended timeline.

Directly across 7th Avenue from City Square Park - the historic, cultural, and civic hub of our community - is the south entryway into our project area. During next year’s festival, visitors will no doubt notice the sparkling stainless steel gateway feature designed for this site by Cara Briggs Farmer. The artist has recently won a local Main Street competition called “Open 4 Business.” Judges awarded $1000 for the expansion of her Uptown Marion studio, Synergy Metalworks –  A new welding studio, gallery and office space will help to advance her career as a fulltime sculptor. All 2016 Local Main Street “Open 4 Business” winners will soon move on to regional and state level competitions. Last year, Uptown Marion’s local winner, Giving Tree Theater, came in second place at the statewide competition and won a total of $10,500 in prize money. Our community is pleased to support local artists and other entrepreneurs thriving throughout Iowa’s Creative Corridor!