The Community Services Building of Linn County includes three distinct areas of public art:
"Mapping a Sense of Place" ceramic relief map by artist Sonata Kazimieraitiene.
Grant Wood prints on display at the Community Services Building of Linn County.
Ceramic Relief Map of Linn County
“Mapping a Sense of Place,” an impressive 18-foot tall ceramic relief map of Linn County by artist Sonata Kazimieraitiene, hangs in the main lobby. Elements of the mosaic include panels of Stone City stone at the base, ceramic pieces to represent grass and sky surrounding the edges and blue glass to represent the Cedar River. The mosaic includes a series of 6 x 6 inch glazed and fired tiles created by Linn County employees and community members. Many of the tiles were created by Options of Linn County consumers. Options of Linn County works with community businesses in providing employment services to adults with disabilities and is one of nine departments located in the Community Services Building.
Kazimieraitiene spent the summer of 2011 as an artist-in-residence at the Cherry Building in Cedar Rapids while working with Linn County staff on the creation of the art.
Grant Wood Prints
Seven panels of Grant Wood prints are displayed prominently in the main lobby. The panels measure 7 feet wide and 8 feet 9 inches tall. Each panel is an enlargement of one of seven Grant Wood creations that complement the ceramic map and allude to the services offered in the building. The panels include: Plaid Sweater (1931), Young Corn (1931), The Coil Welder (1925), Arbor Day (1932), Woman with Plants (1929), New Road (1939) and a portion of the stained glass Memorial Window located at the Veteran’s Memorial Building on May’s Island in Cedar Rapids (1928-1930).
The enlargements of the paintings were created from original archival transparencies. The original transparencies were obtained from the owners of each of the paintings, including the University of Iowa, the Cedar Rapids School District, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the William I. Koch Collection (which provided the transparency for Arbor Day, the only privately-held painting used in this installation).
"Markers of Time," a set of four carved limestone pillars representing the passage of the four seasons, decorate the building’s outdoor courtyard. The pillars, by artist Susan Falkman, are set along an illuminated path in the courtyard marked with wooden benches, tables and plantings. The pillars represent the services provided by Linn County's community service departments which address people's needs during the different stages and seasons of their lives.
Blossom represents summer; Leaf represents autumn; Branch represents winter; and Bud represents spring. The sculptures are enticing focal points that invite people into and around the courtyard. They are approachable, touchable, with recognizable forms, yet not static. When viewed from different angles, evocative abstract shapes emerge. The pieces were carved from four solid two-and-one-half-ton blocks of Indiana limestome, using hand and power tools.
The public is welcome to view the public art during the building’s normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Grant Wood was native to Linn County and spent his entire career painting the people and places that mattered to him.
About the Linn County Public Art Commission and Program