‘Scherzo’ Arriving in Marshalltown Next Week

Scherzo concept and artist portrait

The Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation Partnership Fund and the Marshalltown Community School District/High School, in partnership with the Arts & Culture Alliance, are excited to announce the installation of new artwork at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center. The artwork, titled ‘Scherzo’, of Kansas artist Stephen T. Johnson will arrive next week.

Scherzo’ will consist of colorful abstract forms based on musical notations such as the bass clef, the forte f and musical notes, plus three kinetic mouth-shaped forms at the top that celebrate the rhythms, sounds and ideas generated within this outstanding performing arts venue. 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. More information about the project can be found here! 

Stephen T. Johnson’s rich body of work forges connections between words, objects, and ideas. His art spans a broad range of concepts and contexts and can be seen in site-specific public art commissions, gallery and museum exhibitions, and original award-winning children’s books such as Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

Artist, Stephen T. Johnson, said “Riggs Fabrication is doing a superlative job translating my designs into glorious steel. It’s hard to convey the sheer scale with a few photos that truly capture all the nuances and parallaxes that occur while viewing it from 360 degrees. Every step reveals new juxtapositions of form and hopefully quickens musical associations. The final phase is to add the color then we are very much looking forward to coming to Marshalltown next week to install the sculpture. I’m so grateful for the community support and enthusiasm during the course of this exciting, creative journey.”

Among Johnson’s public art is a 70-foot mosaic mural at the DeKalb Avenue Subway Station in Brooklyn, New York, a 60-foot mosaic mural at the Universal City Metro Station in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, and 33 glass panels for the Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas. His latest commission was three large glass mosaic murals for the Lenexa City Center Library in metropolitan Kansas City.

MHS Director of Vocal Music and Auditorium Foundation Board member, Amy Ose shared, “I have been anxiously awaiting the realization of this dream since 2016 when the Roundhouse addition was being designed. With drastic changes planned for the North side of the MHS campus, I was eager for us to find a way to create a visual impact at the entrance to the Performing Arts Center that would welcome people into our amazing facility, while also representing the importance of Fine Arts within our school and community. The installation of ‘Scherzo’ will be the realization of that dream.”

Upcoming Events with the Artist:

Help us celebrate the arrival of ‘Scherzo’ with a Reveal Celebration on Thursday, June 30th from 5-7pm at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center. The evening will kick off with a Chamber ribbon cutting, followed by opening performances of MHS Students and ending with the Marshalltown Municipal Band at 6pm. Bring your lawn chairs! More details on the Facebook Event.

“We have long awaited the arrival of ‘Scherzo’ and are thrilled about the continued growth of artwork in Marshalltown, especially on the Marshalltown High School Campus. This piece will be an amazing addition to showcase this outstanding performing arts facility and all of the talented artist who perform for our community,” said Amber Danielson, Executive Director of the Arts & Culture Alliance.


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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.