OTTUMWA-A local project to upgrade a downtown parking area is nearly complete, and the addition of an art instillation is one of the final steps. The Jefferson Street parking lot, located behind Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company, has been undergoing a face lift thanks to funding from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The project means a smoother paved surface, a more well-lit parking lot, and a more attractive area over all.
“This is the end bit of the project and the art piece is definitely the cherry on top, you could say,” explained Kelly Genners, Legacy Foundation Vice President of Programs and Initiatives.
Genners says the Legacy Foundation believes it is important to incorporate art into any of these type of endeavors. Their goal is to find a local artist whose work they are able to include.
Genners went on to say, “we worked with the Ottumwa Area Arts Council on this. They helped us to identify local art work that would be perfect for such a project.”
She explained that the Foundation has been holding on to the piece for quite some time, looking for just the right place to use it. She says it has taken a bit longer than expected to get it in place in the parking lot. They had to wait for the limestone base to arrive before it could be moved to its new home.
Local businessman and artist, Steve Huffman, is the creative mind behind the sculpture placed in the parking lot. The title of the piece is Skydancer. Genners believes that when the new flowers and landscaping are filling out and growing, the area will be a beautiful addition to downtown Ottumwa.
This will not be the only bit of culture added to downtown Ottumwa. Genners says that Legacy Foundation intends to include local art pieces in the Canteen Alley project that was announced last month. This project will create a more pedestrian friendly and visually appealing area outside of Ottumwa’s nationally known eatery.