Scherzo - CODAworx


Submitted by Stephen T. Johnson

Client: Client: Marshalltown Performing Arts Center, Marshalltown, Iowa

Location: Marshalltown, IA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team


Stephen T. Johnson

Executive Director of Public Art

Amber Danielson

Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance


Mike Riggs

Riggs Fabrication


The title “Scherzo” refers to a short orchestral piece of music, especially in the second or third movement of a symphony or sonata. Scherzos are vigorously composed and are typically light and playful in character with intensely interesting, fresh and familiar themes. Rising to 17 feet, the colorful abstract forms are based on musical notations such as the bass clef, the forte f, and musical notes, plus three kinetic mouth-shaped forms at the top, which celebrate the rhythms, sounds, and ideas generated within this outstanding performing arts venue.


The stakeholders mission was to create a lasting work of art in the roundabout located directly in front of the entrance to the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center, the city’s premier venue for community organizations, world-class performing artists, and the Marshalltown High School Band, Choir, Dance, Jazz Band, Orchestra and Theatre students. The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center is a partnership between the public and private sectors of the community and has become a community showplace.


Working from my diminutive maquettes, Riggs Fabrication of Lawrence, Kansas, transformed these dynamic, twisting shapes of cardboard into a magnificent final interpretation of colored steel. We enjoyed enthusiastic support and guidance during the entire process from conception to installation from the public art administrator, the Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation, the Marshalltown Community School District/High School, the Arts & Culture Alliance, and community members.