As drivers make their way through Waterloo down highway 218, they can now be greeted with two new beautiful murals painted on the sides of buildings along Washington Street.

Just in time for thousands upon thousands of Irish Fest fans are set to invade downtown Waterloo, these colorful welcoming paintings will serve as an informal gateway into downtown Waterloo.

According to a press release, the Waterloo Center for the Arts has been working with University of Iowa "Master of Fine Arts" students to design and install public art murals that reflect the values, stories, and/or identity of the Waterloo community. "These mural designs take inspiration from Waterloo’s new spirit of urban renewal along with the natural beauty of Iowa and its native plant species."

The murals are easily visible from highway 218 as visitors and locals pass-by

The Waterloo Exhibitions, Collections, and Public art Committee serving under the Waterloo Cultural and Arts Commission selected the mural design proposed by Sean Elizabeth Tyler. She says "this design is intended to be an eye-catching centerpiece that can gain attention from the highway and pique interest". "Blue and orange, and yellow and purple, are both vibrant and attention-grabbing color combinations that represent the spirit and energy of the current renewal of Waterloo’s downtown." She also hopes this work will draw area residents to the bike trails to see the work.

Waterloo Center for the Arts curator Chawne Paige added these comments about the overall "big picture" of beautifying Waterloo: (in the audio below)

Scroll down to see all the eye-catching murals in downtown Waterloo [Photos]

Before and after photos of the new mural project along Washington St., along with other murals in the city.

In a related story, from June 18, 2021, Waterloo's Youth Art Teams Project Peace Together, is the team’s collaborative project is on display and open to the public at the Waterloo Center for the Arts (WCA) through August 31.

Scroll down for a virtual tour of the Our Freedom Story mural in Waterloo

Our Freedom Story mural - downtown Waterloo

Take a walk along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo to view this 3,000-square-foot mural of the city's civil rights history shown abstractly through lines, shapes, and colors. Located behind the Waterloo Center for the Arts (near the Highway 63 bridge). Created by the Waterloo Youth Art Team.

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