The Second Student Art Walk

By Jodi Harris, City Revealed Magazine

Spring showers usually bring May flowers, but this year it brings something even more exciting! Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail presents the Second Annual Student Art Walk, in downtown Cedar Rapids from May 1 through August 31, 2013. Local kindergarten through high school students have submitted artwork to judges, who chose fifty winners, including three grand prize winners. The public will be able to see the winning art work reproduced on banners displayed along the streets of downtown. In addition, the three grand prize winners will have their artwork displayed on large banners hung on two Third Street and Third Avenue skywalks.

Murals & More hosted the Second Annual Student Art Walk Recognition Event on Saturday, April 20th at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Students met their sponsors

and saw their banners for the first time as the fifty winners were announced. At the event, each student received a poster reproduction of their banner. There were over 100 pieces of student art submitted from thirteen schools. The 2013 Grand Prize winners are: Gunner from Hiawatha Elementary School; Dorothy from Franklin Middle School; and Kaytlynn from Jefferson High School. Per school privacy restrictions, we are

only listing their first names.

You may recall that last year, the First Student Art Walk was part of the exciting unveiling of the first Murals & More mural, located on Third Street between Second and Third Avenues, which was created by a local artist, Bounnak Thammavong. The

winning students were recognized at the first mural unveiling in May 2012. Banners were displayed throughout the spring and summer along Third

Street from First to Fourth Avenues SE.

Because of the huge success last year and the increased participation from teachers and students, the art walk was expanded to Third Avenue from First to Fourth Streets SE. The first mural can be seen as you wander along the streets looking at the student’s banners. In addition, all

one-hundred student submissions will be displayed at the Banker’s Trust lobby through May 20th for the public to enjoy.

All Cedar Rapids schools were given the opportunity to submit artwork based on historical themes connected with the mural project. It is an honor for students to see their work on public display. “The idea behind the student art walk is to provide a mini art walking trail to mimic what will eventually be the mural trail throughout the area. It has always been our vision at Murals and More to incorporate community wherever and whenever possible and encouraging teachers and students to participate with the art walk fits right into our mission,” says Lynn Ocken, Past Executive Director and Founder of Murals & More

The Student Art Walk is a Murals & More project made possible by their many supporters. At the conclusion of the art walk, supporters and sponsors keep their banners. Many sponsors enjoy hanging their banners at their places of business and many schools also purchase their student’s banners to display inside their school. The banners and posters will also be made available for purchase. Contact Murals & More Co-Chair, Amy Lasack at Amy.Lasack@kirkwood.edu or 319.398.5435 to purchase a banner or poster. All money received will go toward the continued development of the mural trail.

“The Murals & More project has given Cedar Rapids students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in downtown Cedar Rapids. Art Specialists designed lesson plans with the history of Cedar Rapids in mind. Students not only learned important history regarding their city but also made community connections and put a creative touch on the knowledge they gained. It is a positive experience for all involved!” Says Lesley Panos, Visual Art Facilitator and Art Specialist at the Cedar Rapids Community School District

Remember that each banner is an individual expression of art which helps tell the story of Cedar Rapids history. It is hoped that when folks visit our downtown and see the banners decorating our streets, they will take the time to enjoy and appreciate the artwork. After the student art walk is over, look for banners to be displayed by Theater Cedar Rapids, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Cedar Rapids Art Museum and The Cedar Rapids History Museum. Visit www.crmuralsandmore.com to find out how you may donate to this project or sponsor a student banner for the 2014 Student Art Walk. Murals & More welcomes any business, group or individual to become a part of this project and help make more murals possible. 

To read the entire May 2013 edition of City Revealed that features this article, click HERE.