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Iowa West Public Art

In 2004, the Iowa West Foundation, a foundation that works to improve the lives and strengthen the Council Bluffs community,  funded a community-wide public art master planning process that resulted in the Iowa West Public Art initiative. Because of this unique initiative, Council Bluffs is now home to an impressive collection of 12 pieces of public art that have been created by artists known around the world.

Iowa West Public Art Pieces

  • Molecule Man | Jonathan Borofsky
    This 50-foot aluminum sculpture is one of the most popular pieces of public art in Council Bluffs. Located in the Mid-America Center entertainment district, this piece was created by Jonathan Borofsky, one of the most important American sculptors working today. 
  • Gateway | Ed Carpenter
    Passing through the heart of Council Bluffs, the Broadway Viaduct frames beautiful views from east to west. The brightly colored light poles make this a memorable and welcoming gateway that intersects the different parts of the community. 
  • Riverboat on the Missouri | Luis Valle
    Located near Bayliss Park, the Riverboat on the Missouri mural depicts the rich history of Council Bluffs. The mural is part of a cultural trail throughout downtown and adds vibrancy to the district. Iowa West Foundation partnered with local businesses Availa Bank and Western Iowa Mutual Insurance to fund the mural. 
  • Big Mo | Mark di Suvero 
    Located near the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Big Mo stands over 75-feet tall and accentuates the banks of the Missouri River with its vivid orange hue. Artist di Suvero says that his work has always responded to bridges. 
  • Bayliss Park Wellspring and Oculus | Brower Hatcher 
    Brower Hatcher is an internationally known artist that uses geometric structures that are found in natural organisms and living systems. When creating Wellspring and Oculus, Brower considered the local history of the area in order to create meaningful pieces of art. Wellspring is the centerpiece fountain at Bayliss Park and Oculus serves as a performance pavilion. 
  • Rhythm | Jun Kaneko 
    Rhythm is a 22,000 square foot sculpture garden that includes 21 individual elements outside of the Mid-America Center. The space is intended to inspire creativity for the audience coming and going from lively shows such as concerts, sporting events, and conferences. 
  • Circus, Interstate, and Sunrise | William King
    William King is known for creating large, open-air sculptures that have a sense of lightness and delicacy while also showcasing his whimsical sense of humor. Circus is located near the entrance of the Iowa West Field House, Sunrise is near the convention center entrance at the Mid-America Center, and Interstate is on the corner of 24th Street and Mid-America Drive. 
  • Haymarket Rabbits | Deborah Masuoka 
    Located in the Haymarket Square District, the Haymarket Rabbits were created to explore the complexity of human emotions. Artist Deborah Masuoka says that each sculpture created an ironic twist where the rabbit, typically the prey, is transformed into the predator. 
  • Odyssey | Albert Paley 
    Located over Interstate 80, Odyssey consists of four large-scale mixed-metal sculptures. The sculptures can be seen from miles away and tower 100 feet above the well-traveled interstate below. The sculptures were created to speak to the transformation the region has undergone throughout history. 
  • Looking Up | Thomas Friedman
    Situated at Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park, Looking Up is a 33-foot tall humanoid statue created from crushed aluminum foil, roasting pans, and baking tins. A previous temporary version of this sculpture stood on the same site from May 2019 to December 2020. The piece was so beloved that a permanent version was created and installed in 2021. 

For more information about the pieces of art and the amazing artists that created them, visit the artists and artwork section on the Iowa West Foundation's websiteScroll to the bottom of this blog to view images of all of the Iowa West Public Art pieces!

Download the Otocast Public Art App! 

The Otocast app is one of the coolest interactive apps in the App Marketplace available on both Android and iOS. It serves as your personal tour guide to the outstanding collection of public art in Council Bluffs! 

The app is a great way to plan your tour because it gives you directions to each piece of art and also allows you to watch videos from the artists, scroll through their photo gallery, and find links to other related websites. Custom narratives are also available and are super fun and engaging! 

Otocast on the Apple Store

Otocast on the Google Play Store 


Iowa West Public Art on Social Media 

Looking to uncover more art in Council Bluffs?! Visit our public art listing and get to exploring! Share your photos with us by tagging @unleashcb and using #unleashcb on all social media platforms. 

Photo by jenmorganphotos on Instagram 
Photo by tonesimons on Instagram
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