Frank Swanson sitting in front of a slab of stone held up with chains
Artist Name

Frank Swanson


Police and Fire Building
909 S 2nd St

Project Sponsor(s)

City of Marshalltown

Installation Date

November 2020

Project Category
  • Public Art
  • Sculpture/3D


Symbiosis is defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups. The Marshalltown Police and Fire Departments work in a symbiotic partnership with the community to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the city. Symbiosis was designed to reflect this relationship between the three groups as they work together to make Marshalltown a thriving and flourishing community. The call to artist received 31 applications from all over the United States. The committee narrowed it down to 3 finalists and after extensive community engagement, Frank Swanson of Littleton, Colorado was selected.

The sculpture started as a single block of stone that was shaped into a triangle that represents the three-sided partnership. The stone was cut into three interlocking pieces. The three pieces fit together as one unit. The benches were made from the off falls that come off of the sculpture when forming the basic triangle.

“In a society that tears down as fast as it builds, it is my desire to leave something of permanence, a message to the future that we were here and that we were conscious of building great and thoughtful culture, both for its own soul and as a foundation upon which future generations could build. I want to create sculpture that will, in the future, stimulate questions that have not yet been asked, and this is what excites me about creating public art”. – Frank Swanson

Fun Facts: The artist used Colorado Granite from the last family-owned quarry in the country. The stone was delivered to his studio weighing 11,000 pounds and the color of the granite is called: Colorado Rose Red.

Project Goals

  • Exemplify service, honor, and unity
  • Represent respect and pride for the community
  • Create an impact for, and compliment the distinct qualities of, the Linn Creek District


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