Recently this last summer, Anamosa has been putting more work into bringing art back to the downtown area. The movement started when the 25-foot tall sculpture, based on Grant Wood’s ”American Gothic” painting, arrived at the birthplace of the painter himself. People from all over come to see the magnificent beast that gazes over Main Street.

Although, that was not the only thing to liven up the town. Young artists from Anamosa High School joined in the efforts by recreating some of Wood’s most famous paintings on banners that now hang behind some buildings on Main Street. That’s not all, local artists were also invited to paint anything imaginable on fence posts that lie behind the statue itself. A non-related metal sculpture about what Anamosa has to offer has also been stationed at a busy intersection between Main Street and South Elm Street. This particular masterpiece, called America the Beautiful, has interwoven metal bars that show the rolling hills of farms and a tire to depict the National Motorcycle Museum.

All of those acts began a movement that Anamosa has not seen in a while. Lately with the harsh winter, the process of making Anamosa beautiful again has been at a low. Together, if artists join forces with the Chamber of Commerce, who knows what could happen: perhaps a giant mural on the side of a vacant building or a revamped garden area with smaller sculptures. The possibilities are endless!

So, I urge you, citizen, artist or dreamer, to think about new ways to bring life to a small town in Iowa. Write down any ideas that pop into your head and share them with your community. One thought could lead to a bigger and more colorful drive downtown.

Jesina Minger


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