Woman's Head

Public Art in Iowa

The State of Iowa has a rich art culture that includes many wonderful works of public art. These artworks may be commissioned by the state, by private organizations, or even by generous individuals, and can be found at airports, in hospitals, schools and universities, and even alongside highways! The Daily Palette is happy to feature these works created for the enrichment of our communities and the delight of our visitors.

Woman's Head, Steel, 17' x 10', 1999

Based in Marin County, CA, Dennis Patton is a self-taught sculptor whose work has been commissioned for public art projects in California and, happily for us, here in Iowa. He created this enormous and yet whimsical sculpture group for the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids in 1993, and it has been greeting travelers there ever since!

In his own words

Reading art is like reading a book: All art, including sculpture, has its chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words, concepts—a beginning and an end. These stories are told in music, dance, paint, the written word, steel and stone. Every artist is in the business of communication. Public art allows me to do the most important thing in my life: Give a story to people that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. I'm a storyteller.

This version of Woman's Head replaced Dennis Patton's slightly smaller (15' tall) wooden sculpture of the same subject, originally created in 1976. The new steel version was commissioned by the Iowa Department of Transportation when the building interior was being updated. The sculpture was paid for with funds provided by the State's Art in State Buildings program, which earmarks .5% of construction funds for fine art. You can read more about this particular project on the Iowa DOT Virtual Museum's website.

Dennis Patton Website

Iowa Department of Transportation Virtual Museum

This page was first displayed
on March 14, 2017

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