Showcasing youth art in Fort Dodge
New trash receptacles adorn downtown
The arts are alive in downtown Fort Dodge.
Last week, 25 new pedestrian trash receptacles were installed around downtown. Each features two side panels that are decorated with artwork from local students.
Main Street Fort Dodge opened up a coloring contest for local elementary school students to enter their designs for the Pick It Up Fort Dodge logos on the side panels last year.
The Pick It Up Fort Dodge project was created by Main Street Fort Dodge and the City of Fort Dodge after the city received a $10,000 grant from the Iowa Art Council’s Arts Build Community program in late 2019. Main Street Fort Dodge held the coloring contest in early 2020, but because of delays caused by COVID-19, the new trash receptacles and artwork weren’t installed until recently.
The metal receptacles were made by industrial technology students at Fort Dodge Senior High.
When entering their colorful designs for the contest, students also submitted statements of what recycling means to them.
Harrison Carzoli, 8, a first-grader at St. Edmond Catholic School, wrote, “Recycling is important so our world stays clean and people and animals can be healthy.”
The trash receptacle with Carzoli’s artwork can be found in front of the Fort Dodge Municipal Building.
On each of the receptacles is a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone and will open a webpage with information about the student whose work is shown on the receptacle.
There were a lot of hands involved in this project, Main Street Fort Dodge Executive Director Kris Patrick said. The City of Fort Dodge, Main Street Fort Dodge, Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association, Spin Market, Iowa Central Community College and Iowa Arts Council all played a part.
On Saturday morning, Main Street Fort Dodge invited all the students, whose artwork was used for Pick It Up Fort Dodge, to downtown to see the finished products.
“It’s definitely a youth project and anything to encourage them and build them up to keep going in the arts,” Patrick said.
To continue to highlight artwork from local students, the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association and its Youth Advisory Council hosted a Student Art Exhibition for young artists, from kindergarten all the way through college-aged, on Saturday.
The Fine Arts Association received about 15 submissions for the Student Art Exhibition.
Briley Singer, 14, a freshman at St. Edmond Catholic School, is on the Youth Advisory Council and helped organize the art show.
She said the exhibition shows that the Fine Arts Association cares about kids and about giving them an opportunity to show their work to the public.
“Sometimes kids are underestimated,” she said.
Singer said her favorite piece in the show was a photograph by recent Iowa Central Community College graduate Evan Price.
“I love it; it’s so cool,” she said. “It shows people’s anger and shows different emotions and how they feel and like they don’t really know how to express themselves sometimes.”
Singer said she hopes that the Fine Arts Association will host more Student Art Exhibitions in the future.