Interactive Mural installed at La Salud in Downtown Marshalltown

Closeup of the MARSHALLTOWN text on Marshalltown's Selfie Mural with a heart replacing the "o"
The Arts & Culture Alliance is thrilled to announce that an interactive mural is coming to downtown Marshalltown this week at La Salud Grocery Store and Restaurant. The mural has an engaging element, inviting residents and visitors to take pictures in front of the mural and celebrate the heart of our community.
The Alliance’s mural program creates an opportunity for an increased focus on quality of life, community pride, beautification and creative placemaking. The program was recently launched with the Marshalltown Schools Sidewalk Safety Mural project. This mural project is funded and sponsored by the Fauna Nord and Kelli Thurston Realty Team. “We are greatly appreciative of the generous donation of Fauna Nord and Kelli Thurston,” said Alliance Director Amber Danielson. “This project wouldn’t be possible without their support and belief in the arts in Marshalltown.”The mural will be painted on the North wall of La Salud in the alleyway off of North 1st Street, in between West Main Street and West State Street. It will be next to the parking lot of the iconic downtown building, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is currently being remodeled from tornado damage and is slated to open this Winter. Gabriela Vargas, owner of La Salud, shared “we are excited about the opportunity for a mural on our building. It is an honor to work with the Alliance and to be a part of the Marshalltown Mural program.”

The selected artist, Jenna Brownlee of Des Moines, is known for her beautiful floral work as an Iowa Muralist. With a mission to make people happy through art, her work is often inspired by collages of organic shapes found in nature with themes of bright colors, flowers and typography that encourage others to stop and smell the roses. Jenna’s interactive Marshalltown mural design incorporates flowers, monarch butterflies and the word Soñar, which means to dream. The flowers chosen are native to Latin America and the butterflies signify the migration monarchs make from Canada to Mexico each Fall. The mural will celebrate and symbolize the migration and journey many Latinos make to America, specifically to our community.

Downtown Marshalltown has been steadily rebuilding since the July 2018 tornado and derecho this past August. The goal of this mural is to assist in the continuation of rebuilding and revitalizing the Downtown District. Our hope is that this mural creates another must-see attraction in our community, while increasing community pride, celebrating Latin American culture and ultimately drawing foot traffic to our downtown. Marshalltown Central Business District Executive Director, Deb Milizer, said “we couldn’t be happier about the addition of a mural in the downtown. We are looking forward to a continued partnership with the Ars & Culture Alliance and the Marshalltown Mural program as we incorporate additional murals in downtown.”

The mural is being painted this Thursday and Friday, in hopes to be completed by the weekend. We welcome the community to stop by and watch the artist work, however, for the health and wellbeing of everyone, masks or facial coverings and social distancing are recommended.

We believe a vibrant arts and culture environment is critical to enhancing the quality of life and driving economic development while nurturing a positive view of the community among residents and visitors alike. The mission of the Arts & Culture Alliance is to cultivate a community of arts and culture and we believe a community enriched in arts and culture will attract, retain and engage residents. The Marshalltown Mural program provides an avenue for our community to continue to make Marshalltown THE place to live, work, learn and play, as well as an opportunity to enhance quality of life and support economic development.

For more information or questions, please contact us at
(641) 752-ARTS (2787) or
Learn more about the project at
Learn more about the artist at


Artist, Jenna Brownlee of Des Moines


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*The Arts + Culture Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have any questions, please contact us.