When devastation strikes, it’s difficult to imagine good coming from it, but that’s what happened in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, New Bohemia neighborhood, referred to as NewBo, following the great Cedar River flood of 2008. Most buildings in the already declining New Bohemia neighborhood filled eight feet or more with floodwaters. Sadly, some historic buildings were torn down rather than repaired. However, with federal and state funds, as well as insurance money, a building resurgence occurred. Today NewBo is booming with new shops, restaurants, and pubs.
It began with Cows on Parade, first in Zurich in 1998 and a follow-up in Chicago in 1999. Since then, cities all over the world have done a similar public art project. Moose in Toronto, Pigs in Cincinnati, the Superlambanana in London, and ponies in Santa Fe all followed suit. The projects involve local artists painting the same subject, each putting his or her own spin on it, and placing them around the city. The most fun of these exhibits, Overalls All Over, is going on right now in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, during Grant Wood’s 125th birthday celebration. Read more