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10th D’ART’ Bus Celebrates Des Moines’ Black Community, Unveiling Thursday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's as easy as taking the “D” off the front of DART, and a regular means of transportation changes into art.

Since 2015, the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation has teamed up with Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) to offer a piece of public art on wheels. Thursday afternoon, they are unveiling their 10th piece of work.

It all started with an initiative to place art in unusual spaces or places that art wouldn't otherwise be readily available.

The piece being revealed at 1:00 p.m. is truly one of a kind. Designed by an Iowan, artist Mitchell Squire, the piece called “Multiple Black” celebrates the artistry and style from the black community.

“They go from abstraction to recognizable shapes. This one particularly is based off his photography. It’s collage piece which has a hand, pearls, hair, but it is very, very unique,” Jessica Rowe, Director of Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation said. “I think the scale, enlarging something to that size, is a remarkable achievement.”

The unveiling ceremony is taking place on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Grand Avenue in Des Moines. There stands the “Monumental Journey” sculpture. Only a year old, it's in honor of 12 African American attorneys, who in Des Moines, founded the National Bar Association in 1925. The sculpture and new art bus both go hand-in-hand, celebrating Iowa's black community.

“This particular unveiling is in front of the ‘Monumental Journey’ by Kerry James Marshall and the idea actually came from the artist, Mitchell Squire to reinforce the black culture and artistry,” Rowe said.

The public is encouraged to attend. They will also have some poetry and music that will also support diversity.

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