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Art Route Des Moines Completes Downtown Journey

DES MOINES, Iowa – Art Route Des Moines completes over a six miles journey to different pieces of art through downtown.

The art route covers 20,234 steps and passes 90 businesses.

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundations Director Jessica Rowe said the dream to create the art route began in 2015.

“The idea was to look at the most concentrated areas where public art is located. Sometimes it is very obvious, like the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and sometimes it is very subtle. It’s a work that is integrated to our infrastructure. People walk by it all the time, don’t look at it and don’t stop,” Rowe said.

Green dots, chevrons and pedestrians painted on crosswalks guide people through the tour.

“All the crosswalks show from a bird's eye point of view pedestrians walking,” Rowe said.

Rowe said the crosswalk designs are made out of thermoplastic. It is the same material found on interstates. The green dots are made out of a highly sustainable paint.

Chief Strategy Officer for Greater Des Moines Partnership Tiffany Tauscheck said people can see 87 art pieces on the route.

“We realized that based on survey results there was a big disconnect for visitors in the city who wanted to find public art but were unable to find it. Specifically, downtown,” Tauscheck said.

Rowe said the Canadian artist who designed the project wanted to promote walking and more pedestrian traffic.

The green dots will take you to places like the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the state capitol, the Science Center of Iowa and East Village.

“The art route is a really interesting project, because as far as we know this is the first in the world to combine public art with painted intersections and painted connector pathways,” Tauscheck said.

Tauscheck said the project hopes to continue to add more green dots as the city continues to display more public art.

The route expands to West Des Moines with an "art pocket."