Iowa Worker’s Monument

Submitted by Michael Stutz

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Project

State of Iowa, Iowa Work Force Development

Des Moines United States

2008-03-15

Project Team

Artist

Michael Stutz

Landscape Architect

Matt Carlile

Brian Clark & Associates

Public Art Agent

Jerry Addy Project Coordinator

State Public Policy Group

Client

Iowa Work Force Development

Iowa Work Force Development

Overview

Approaching the Iowa Work Force Development Building one is drawn to a striking
eleven foot tall by eleven foot wide balanced square form. Upon closer interaction,
the sculpture is revealed to be four interlocking arms and hands, a powerful universal
image, dedicated to the energy and integrity of the Workers of Iowa. Each arm
supports the other, in the same way a diverse blend of people, from many backgrounds,
come together to work and create the cultural and business base of Iowa.

Goals

A special group of political, business, private, and union interests came together to raise funds and implement this project. The monument commemorates, blends into the historic State capital area, and serves as a bus stop. New sidewalks and decorative paving radiate from the sculpture’s center. Plantings, benches, tables and a seat wall establish a park space, where workers and visitors can sit and relax, eat lunch, or do work, thus becoming an active embodiment of the ideals of the site. The Iowa Workers’ Monument is a symbol of the optimism and vision of a state that is continually evolving yet remains firmly committed to its remarkable heritage and unsurpassed integrity. The monument appeals to the commonality of work as a critical purpose of life, reflecting the importance of the individual worker as a resource to the nation and the world.

Process

The artist brought the vision of a sculpture that worked as the central image in a park setting. Extensive site visits, collaboration with the landscape architects, state public art officials, and the Iowa Workforce Development Center led to the project's realization.