Pioneers: Art in Transit

1-80 Eastbound, Jasper County, Iowa

Selected in a statewide competition, C+SA was retained to provide public art for a redesigned rest area on a cross-country freeway. A pilot project in a statewide effort to incorporate public art in the renovation of 80 Iowa rest stops, the initiative was a joint undertaking by the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Arts Council.

C+SA’s approach expanded the definition of public art offering a solution that integrated architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, and art elements. The goal was to illustrate the on-going story of Iowa’s pioneers and their intimate relationship to the land. While the exterior landscape is shaped by techniques used in local agricultural practices–shelter-belt, rock pile, corn row, mound, and plateau–interior surfaces are inscribed with a narrative that offers visitors a compelling vision of Iowa; its land and its people. Since completion, the project has served as a national model for integrating art in rest stop design and C+SA has been recognized as a leader in trans-disciplinary design.