Art begins to fill the south wall of the Tremont Building in downtown Marshalltown, where a Baltimore artist transforms a blank canvas into the largest mural in Marshalltown to date.
Justin Nethercut, a globally traveling street artist, was shortlisted from over 40 muralist nominees across the country.
The final design of the mural is a bit of a secret, with the community having the chance to see the mural come to life in the coming days. Oktemberfest attendees will see the art in progress as they participate in the festivities. The play is intended to inspire, excite, and provide a must-see location in downtown Marshalltown.
Nethercut said his design is meant to reflect the natural balance within nature and how the balance of humanity is closely related to nature.
Part of what brought Nethercut to Marshalltown was his desire to take his work outside of Baltimore and into other environments.
“The idea of going, honestly, completely in the middle of the country to a completely random place where I have never been or experienced anything was interesting,” said Nethercut. “Looking at Marshalltown, there are a lot of similarities and there are certainly a lot of differences too, but there are a lot of similarities between Marshalltown and even Baltimore that have been intriguing. Both look like the rusty, industrial belt a little run down in the old town, but there is a lot of beauty and a lot of beautiful textures that I was not able to paint and experience.
He believes the mural could draw attention to Marshalltown and inspire others to come paint in town, having seen the potential of the buildings and surrounding environments.
The 30 foot high and 120 foot wide south wall of the Tremont Building is adjacent to the newly renovated parking lot at the corner of West Church Street and South First Street. The mural will also span the east wall of the pedestrian lane connecting to Main Street.
A celebration in the parking lot to commemorate the mural is scheduled for September 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Because it is difficult to determine when a mural will be completed due to weather and other logistical factors, the hope is that the mural will either be completed with the celebration, or visitors will be able to see the finishes made to the work of art during the celebration. Local musicians Austin Chadderdon and Bon Jecci will perform with the new mural as a backdrop, with attendees invited to bring chairs to spend their evening learning about music and art.
Amber Danielson, executive director of the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance, who applied for funding and led the planning for the mural project, said it was great to finally see some painting on the wall. This mural project is among the first for which the alliance had the idea and has been in the making for almost two years. Over $ 30,000 was raised to fund the project.
The alliance also brought in art students from Marshalltown Community College, who are helping Nethercut paint the mural.
Danielson said the mural will provide others with the opportunity to experience art in their own way, with the room having both abstract elements and realism.
“We’re really excited about this design because we really believe that everyone will be able to connect to it in their own way and be able to formulate their own personal thoughts on what it means to them and what they see,” Danielson said.
The celebration in the newly renovated parking lot behind the Tremont building will also give the community the opportunity to experience a new gathering space in downtown Marshalltown and honor the progress made in the area, Danielson said. She believes that the arts and culture are essential for community development.
“Beautification efforts that include creativity and creating spaces that we would call a ‘must see’ place are really a draw for tourism, they are a draw for economic development and really just completely brightening up a space and transforming a place. space. “ she said.
Danielson said the murals program has only just begun, with plenty of opportunities for more murals in Marshalltown in public spaces, private spaces, parks, trails and in neighborhoods.
Des Moines artist Jimmy Navarro will begin work on a mural in Marshalltown next week located on the south wall of the Thompson True Value, which will be close in second place for Marshalltown’s largest mural. The Chop Shop Salon in the 13th Street neighborhood is also getting a mural on its north wall featuring a recently commissioned artist.
Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or [email protected]