I came to Dyersville for the National Farm Toy show and left with some art sightings as well! This year was the 44th annual National farm toy show. The farm layouts bring their own form of art like Darryl Cox’s award winning John Deere Cotton Picker’s display. Other than the beautiful farm toy models I found many other examples of Iowa culture as well.
Downtown there are many things to see. Along with the amazing Catholic Church the Basilica, and the Botsford Doll Museum, for the first time this year I noticed the cool bridge mural. Since I got home and did some research, I have learned that this mural which was painted onto the side of Chad’s Pizza and Restaurant downtown was recently completed. The artist was Gaia Street. He used inspiration from Dyersville’s historic downtown bridge for the mural, along with the Maquoketa River. This was the second mural in Dyersville, he first represented the Ghostplayers coming out of the corn, is also located downtown on the side of the “If You Build It” Exhibit building,
This year we met up with friends Chad and Franki Elmore and they introduced us to the Textile Brewing Company. This cool building started out as a gasoline engine factory, then was a sewing factory. Inside the building is quite lovely. I especially enjoyed the lights and industrial aspects they added.
After leaving Dyersville, we headed to Anamosa, Iowa. We drove through the town of New Vienna. I admired the beauty of the New Vienna water tower. It looks like a medieval castle. Sometimes just a drive through the countryside can reveal so much wonder it is amazing! According to a post in Iowa Backroads, “In 1899, the local parish granted a parcel of land to the town to construct a new water tower in the Dubuque County community of New Vienna. Built with a rock foundation, the tower featured a 30,000-gallon tank and 200 feet deep well. The pump was originally powered by a windmill, which was removed in favor of an electric turbine.”
Today the water tower is no longer used, but it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999!
Art & History !
Outside of Anamosa, Iowa, we spied a cool historic site that helped educate an Americana artist. This school was near where Woods was born on a farm that no longer exists. The Antioch School, Grant Wood’s first School was spotted. We stopped and I took a picture of the school he attended from 1897-1901. The one room school house is on the National Register of Historic Sites and was used for 77 years.
On our leg home, we went thought the town of Tipton Iowa and saw two wonderful things. One was a beautiful bicycle art all lighted up at sunset. The bike was a tip to the famous Iowa bike race the RAGBRAI, the second was a one of the cool Freedom Rocks painted by Bubba Sorensen.
These artistic and architectural sitings in Iowa made our trip not just a farm toy trip, but an art and culture trip than enhanced and uplifted us! The history of the art educates as well as adds beauty to the landscapes!