Public art installation to be dedicated Saturday

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Artist Victoria Reed, center, guides her walleye sculpture into position on Oct. 5, with help from city employees Steve Bahls, left, and Dan Pierce. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

"The Deepest Pattern,” a public art installation by Victoria Reed, will be dedicated on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. in the park in the 500 block of South River Park Drive in Guttenberg.

The program will last approximately one hour and feature remarks from former Mayor Russell Loven, Northeast Iowa RC&D project lead Mallory Hanson, the  Chamber of Commerce, and artist Victoria Reed. Following remarks attendees will be treated with original music, ‘Welcome,’ by local vocalist, John Hartmann. Those attending are invited to bring a chair if needed.

Following dedication of the public art piece, Umbrella Arts and the Guttenberg Library Foundation will sponsor a catfish and chili dinner in the River Park Place Courtyard from 5-6 p.m. (free-will donation). The catfish will be caught and prepared by Dave and Patty Schwarz, owners of The Guttenberg Motel. The menu will also feature coleslaw, cornbread, dessert and beverage. Those attending are welcome to bring their own beverage. A free concert featuring Carol Montag is  planned for 6-8 p.m. 

“The Deepest Pattern” depicts a walleye to represent Guttenberg’s subtle beauty. Within the walleye is a map of Guttenberg hidden in its patterning. 

About the artist

Sculptor Victoria Reed earned a BFA degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010 and an MFA degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2016. She is the co-owner and co-founder of 20-Ton Studio, a collaborative art space located in Milwaukee, Wis.

“Like many things that are often overlooked, the walleye has a subtle beauty, and in that, a metaphor particular to this place," said Reed in explaining her  concept.  "This is why I have designed the piece to carry a map of Guttenberg hidden in its patterning, because the people, the land, and the river define each other here, and in that there is a profound beauty, subtle and natural.” 

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The project was made possible through a National Endowment for the Arts grant secured by the Northeast Iowa RC&D in partnership with the Byways of Iowa Foundation. This piece is one of 16 public art installations across Iowa in scenic byway corridor communities. 

Other contributions, grants, and support came from the following: Bard Concrete, Casey’s General Stores, Christopher M. Schoen, City of Guttenberg, Clayton County Foundation for the Future, Dr. Russell and Juanita Loven Endowment, Ingleside Club, Iowa Arts Council (Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs), Iowa Byways™, M.J. and Andrew Smith, Northeast Iowa Funders Network, Richard and Gail Larson Fund, River Bluffs Scenic Byway, The Guttenberg Motel, Umbrella Arts, Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation, and many others who volunteered their time to make this project a reality.

“We are excited to have all of these public art pieces installed across the state to not only feature the unique character of the communities they are in, but also to draw visitors from across the country to travel Iowa’s Byways to experience art in our small rural Iowa communities!” said Mallory Hanson, Northeast Iowa RC&D Regional Tourism & Economic Development Coordinator.

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A commemorative dedication button is available for $2 at Essers Clothing, Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center, The Guttenberg Motel, or by calling 252-1310.

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