Venture stemmed from partnership between Iowa State and Manning residentsThe wind turned blue tarps into fluttering sails before they slipped away to reveal a piece of artwork made from corten steel and etched with an simple image depicting Manning’s German Hausbarn.
“Oh, wow,” a member of the audience murmured after the first glimpse of the piece.
“Should we clap?” another asked. “Let’s clap.”
Down Highway 141, another tarp was removed, this time revealing a piece representing Trinity Lutheran Church.
Then Manning’s railroad trestle.
Then the water tower.
On Monday, the city revealed the four-part art installation that now stands along Highway 141 next to the city’s sports complex at Park Avenue. It’s a partnership that ran the gamut from the IKM-Manning High School students who dreamed up the initial concept, to the Iowa State University student who designed the pieces, to the hands in Manning that created them — and the countless other people who moved the idea forward, raised funds and wrote grants to make it happen.
The concept was born several years ago when members of IKM-Manning teacher Judy Jacobsen’s multimedia class were drafted to create initial designs for public art in Manning.
“Our part was giving them a piece that didn’t exist,” Jacobsen said. “I like live projects. I don’t teach out of a book. Sometimes our projects work, and sometimes they fail miserably — for this, it worked.”
Three of those students — Natalie Bauer, Mariah Klocke and Shauna Reitan, now seniors — attended the unveiling ceremony Monday, two years after they initially helped create the starting designs.
Their designs were used to apply for grants and were provided to Iowa State University students in Department of Architecture lecturer Reinaldo Correa’s design class as a starting-off point earlier this year in a partnership that provided students with design experience, and the opportunity to see their designs brought to life, and Manning with opportunities for public art.
After some back and forth, Manning representatives used designs from Izac Roberts, who graduated from Iowa State in May, for the Highway 141 installation. Those were sent on to area businesses who turned the designs into reality, including Puck Custom Enterprises, Ten Point Construction, Warner Welding and JEO Consulting Group.
Members of a visioning committee were involved in various ways throughout the process, including Karen Reinke, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony Monday.
“Projects like this often start as a dream,” Reinke said. “The road to reality can often be arduous. We are extremely proud of the results.”
Correa said he was impressed with the dozens of people who turned out for the event Monday.
“I came here today and I’m truly in awe,” he said. “All of the people involved to make a vision and idea truly become a reality are the best part. It’s been truly an honor for Iowa State to be a part of this vision.”
Each art piece is framed and mounted on concrete footings. The corten steel, also called weathering steel, used to create the pieces will change color with time.
Manning plans to incorporate other designs from Correa’s students into additional public art installations in Manning.
“Seeing a design go from an idea to a tangible, physical form in the real world is very gratifying,” Correa said in a previous interview. “As (students are) transitioning from academia to the professional world, it’s a story future employers would be very captivated to hear.”
Monday was particularly special for Roberts, the Iowa State student who spent hours dreaming up and tweaking the designs that eventually would become reality alongside Highway 141.
“It was really awesome,” Roberts said with a laugh. “I wish there was a better word. It’s strange — I feel accomplished. It’s hard to put into words.”
Roberts, 25, works as a design engineer with Art’s Way Manufacturing in Armstrong, Iowa, about 130 miles north of Manning.
“I get to design things every day and see things put into action every day, and it’s never not exciting,” he said. “It’s always a good feeling to see stuff go from just an idea in your head to a physical form, but at work, it’s tough because I design something, I get to see it really quick and then away it goes and I never see it again. And this is something that’s going to be there indefinitely. It’s crazy to see something I made be almost immortalized.”
Link to article and additional pictures: carrollspaper.com/Content/Default/Homepage-Rotating-Articles/Article/Manning-unveils-public-art-along-Highway-141/-3/449/25953