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See the latest piece of public art on The Avenues

Project funded by Polk County Community Development Grant

The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand invites the community to view the corridor’s latest piece of public art: A staircase near 2300 Ingersoll Avenue. The one-of-a-kind pedestrian pathway features a new mural depicting a koi fish swimming upstream.

The completed koi fish mural staircase by artists Jordan Sandquist and Chris Sullivan.

The mural is accessible for viewing from Ingersoll Avenue or pedestrians can use the staircase to travel between Grand and Ingersoll Avenues. The project contributes to The Avenues’ goals of incorporating more urban recreation opportunities in the district through enhanced walkability, public art and leveraging green space.

“This project provided the perfect opportunity to combine public art with our streetscape and connectivity efforts,” said Lauren Kollauf, executive director of The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand, a nonprofit that provides economic development, marketing and beautification to the district. “We hope this unique staircase mural gives the community one more reason to visit our district.”

The Avenues Arts & Culture Committee put out a call for artists earlier this year and received more than a dozen proposals for the staircase from artists nationwide. The project was awarded to Des Moines-based artist duo Jordan Sandquist and Chris Sullivan. The koi imagery represents perseverance, transformation and positivity.

Funding was provided by a Polk County Community Development Grant and Tree House Partners, the developers behind the Grand Trees Apartments. Support was also provided by Neumann Brothers, Perficut and Moberg Gallery. The project also included structural improvements to the stairs, lighting, handrails and enhanced landscaping at the site.

“Polk County recognizes the importance of art and culture in our community. We are proud to sponsor the renovation of the staircase linking Grand Avenue and Ingersoll Avenue. This type of investment encourages people to visit and shop in this newly transformed neighborhood,” said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly. “Polk County is proud to be part of this collaboration between local artists, businesses and neighborhood leaders as we celebrate Art Week in Des Moines.”

A check presentation ceremony with Polk County was held on June 21 as part of The Avenues’ Art Week festivities along the corridor. The staircase is now open to the public. To learn more about The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand and existing public art installations on the corridor, visit www.theavenuesdsm.com.

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