The idea for public art in the 13th Street District came at a time when the Marshalltown Public Art Committee (M-PAC) had just formed and the 13th Street District Committee was looking for ideas to incorporate art in the newly revitalized district. A new venture for both groups, M-PAC reached out to public art consultant, professor, and artist – Tom Stancliffe. During the beginning of the project, Marshalltown was designated as an Iowa Great Place, resulting in $100,000 for the 13th Street District public art project and aesthetic enhancements.
A call to artists was sent to 15 artists nationally – and all 15 responded with interest. Echo, sitting 34’ tall and made of stainless-steel, was gifted to the City of Marshalltown upon completion in 2015. The project scope included the sculpture, light poles, plaza, irrigation system, back flow preventor system and a portion gifted towards the futsal courts.
“If I could say it, write it or sing it, there would be no need to build it.”
– Bruce White
The community was and still is working toward the following vision for the district: Imagine… A vibrant neighborhood, unique shops, cafes, entertainment and events… a village within our city. A place where the history of the past intertwines with the present and the future. A place where the spirit of our community really comes alive. Committed to making this vision a reality, the committee was actively working to fill storefronts and organize events to re-establish the area as both a valued neighborhood amenity and a popular community destination. As part of that effort, development of the new plaza area in the center of the district was a priority. The call to artist requested an iconic public art piece that defines the district in the central plaza area.