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‘We Complement Each Other’ mural completed in front of historic restored depot

Community fundraising brings colorful street art to Uptown Creston

One of the largest known street quilt murals has been painted at the intersection of West Adams and North Maple streets, located in front of Creston’s historic restored depot.

The “We Complement Each Other” street mural has been a large-scale community effort, spearheaded by the Discover UC committee — a committee of the Union County Development Association — that focuses on creative place-making. Creston:Arts, The City of Creston, Creston Community High School and community sponsors are all responsible for helping bringing the installation into reality.

“We really look forward to seeing what kind of positive impact this has,” said Mindy Stalker, the talent development director for the UCDA.

This venture began back in 2017, with a group of high school students partnering with the UCDA to create a series of events called Update Uptown, with the goal of making improvements to the town while paying homage to the history of the area.

“The first mural was painted by volunteers,” said Stalker. “Bailey Fry-Schnormeier, the art director at the high school, encouraged a lot of her students to come help paint.”

The mural was originally painted in 2018, and was intended to be a temporary fixture, as part of a display to showcase the possibilities that Update Uptown could offer. The mural quickly garnered attention, having gone viral on Facebook reaching places as far as California.

“With these creative place-making community events it’s encouraged for temporary spaces to be created just to get a feel and feedback from the community,” said Stalker. “Anything you do, you want the community to embrace it and feel like they have ownership in creating whatever space is created.”

After the paint was washed away by rain, the Discover UC committee began researching the necessary materials to restore the piece as a permanent fixture. K&G Striping Company are the ones responsible for the labor behind the restoration. K&G used a high durability product called Transpo Color Safe Methyl Methacrylate to preserve the paint. Concurrently with the mural installation, the City of Creston is having the bordering crosswalks painted, using the same product.

The campaign took six months to secure funding for, with an estimated cost of $26,000. This goal was obtained through community sponsorships and grant funding. Brian Zachary with Creston: Arts secured grant funding from The South Central Iowa Community Foundation as well as The Iowa Arts Council.

The mural is set to be complete by the end of the day today.

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