Douglas Avenue Interchange Sculpture Project

The City of Urbandale has recently completed a beautification and signage project at the Douglas Avenue Interchange off I-35/80. The final stage of this interchange project is to commission artwork that will be placed at the two dedicated median spaces along Douglas Avenue. After taking applications, the Urbandale Public Art Committee has identified three finalists to design and fabricate artwork for permanent outdoor installation at the Interchange. The project consists of two elements, one on each side of the interchange, to be permanently affixed to existing concrete pads. 

The Public Art Committee welcomes the community to review and to share input below on the three finalists’ proposals by February 17, 2020. You can also drop off your comments in writing at the Parks and Recreation office at 3600 86th Street (across the parking lot from the library).

A finalist will be selected in March, and the project is anticipated to be completed and installed by the end of 2020. For questions or further information, please feel free to contact the Urbandale Parks and Recreation office at 515-278-3963.

Love You to the Moon & Raise You to the Stars by Clint Hansen

These sculptures were inspired by real-life experiences, my own family’s. 12 years ago, we chose to move our family from SW Iowa to Urbandale. Working as an artist, we could have chosen to live anywhere in the country. We did our homework and liked what we saw in this thriving little suburb, great schools, access to everything we could imagine, wonderful parks, trails, ... it felt like home. We took a leap of faith and Urbandale proved to be an outstanding home to finish raising our 3 children. We have never regretted the move, in fact, I would encourage other families to consider calling Urbandale home as well. The message, the reminder I hope these 2 designs might share: a love for family, a nurturing of children, a strong sense of home and hope in the future. We all need reminders of what is important. A desire for what was best for my family brought us here, a love for the community kept us here. We sincerely love Urbandale.

To obtain long-lasting, maintenance-free art, I am proposing the sculptures be created from Pal Tiya Premium, an all-weather fiber-reinforced cement-based material. This exterior shell is rock hard when finished and can match the cement on the Douglas Ave project’s sign bases. The sculptures are supported from the inside by welded steel armatures and stainless steel mesh. The moon and the star will be stained glass with aluminum leading, lit at night from the inside with LED lights.

Both sculptures will be approximately 4’ wide, 9’ deep and 16’ tall. The figures will be slightly larger than life-size.

Growth & Opportunity by Sam Spiczka

I propose two hands, one right and one left, for the Douglas Avenue Interchange. These would symbolize the hard work of the people of Urbandale, their stewardship of the land, and the hopes they have for the future. “Growth” will consist of a right hand presenting a series of upward reaching swoops in three different shades of green. These shapes would serve to represent the lush plant forms and assorted crops found around Urbandale. “Opportunity” will be the matching left hand presenting three swoops, in harmonizing shades of golden yellow arching, into a circle. This circle would evoke both the sun and a seed kernel, symbolizing the possibilities within.

The hands will be fabricated with 3/16” Cor-ten weathering steel plate. The upper swoops will be fabricated with a combination of 1/8” and 12 gauge mild steel and double powder coated. They will be designed to bolt to the lower hands as discreetly and securely as possible. I will include a progress photo of a commission I recently completed which has similar forms to help give you a better idea of how these will look.

Each sculpture will be approximately 18’ tall by 6’ wide and 6’ deep and weigh approximately 1800 lbs. Each “leg” will terminate in a heavy mounting plate with two mounting holes for a total of six bolts per sculpture. I will drill 1” holes into the concrete and ¾” threaded stainless steel rods will be epoxied at least 8” deep into the concrete and secured with stainless nuts. 

Urban Gothic by Tony Stallard

‘Urban Gothic’ would be a pair of site‐specific sculptures for the Interchange. The work would be a direct reference to Grant Wood’s famous painting ‘American Gothic’ but be a tongue in cheek play on the nature of urban life and bring this very famous iconic work into the 21st century. This would be a playful work referencing the nature of Urbandale as a populated contemporary city yet still has its roots as an agricultural pioneer. By setting up these two located sculptures end to end a simple drive through would bring a smile of recognition to most hardened drivers and for those more familiar with the area would inspire civic pride that in time would become a famous landmark.

The 2 sculptures will be in 3D bronze life-size – 6 foot tall and be set onto carved granite stone plinths to give them height and impact carvings can be set into the stone that would allow recognition or visualization from afar and not close inspection all of which decided upon commissioning but early thoughts were a link to the Agricultural symbols used on the gateway markers.