Abby Huff in Story City has come up with an innovative way to add art to the community’s Main Street district while raising money for a good cause.
Blank canvases are on sale now for the second annual “2x2xWho?” public art project, an initiative by the Story City Greater Chamber Connection, for which Huff is the executive director.
This year’s theme is “Iowa Nice: What inspires you about Iowa?”
For $10, people can pick up a blank 2-foot by 2-foot canvas and paint or decorate it any way they want, especially in ways that evoke good thoughts about Iowa.
“They can paint, draw, use photographs, do 3D art — whatever inspires them,” said Huff.
“It’s not just about being artistic. It’s about being creative,” said Jay Wilson, the GCC’s assistant director.
Completed canvases should be returned to the GCC office by Aug. 1, so they can be displayed in the windows of downtown businesses. So far, the GCC has sold more than 20 blank canvases and has had a few completed ones returned.
Artists’ names will remain anonymous as the public art display is also a competition that will be voted on by visitors to Story City’s downtown. Prizes will be awarded for first- and second-place in adult and youth categories.
Voting will take place Aug. 16 during the GCC’s progressive dinner, which is in its 13th-consecutive year.
“People who attend the progressive dinner will be going from business to business for the dinner and will see the canvases in the different locations. They’ll get ballots and will be able to vote on their favorite ones,” Wilson said.
The public art competition is an artistic fundraiser that will help the GCC pay for beautification of downtown.
“We like to show off our talent in Story City because we have so many artistic people who live here,” Wilson said. “I know that sounds prideful but we are proud of it. This is really something any community can do. It’s a fun project and it gets people involved in the community.”