Even from Gibson Square Park outside, Odili Donald Odita’s new 13.5-by-27-foot mural “Surrounding” beckons visitors into the museum’s first-floor lobby. The work was installed in early-April 2022 by a team of three: Alan Prazniak, Conor Fields, and Jenna Pirello. Odita visited mid-installation to review progress and meet with the press. The commissioned mural is the first installation in the museum's ongoing public art series “Thresholds,” which features the work of Iowa-associated artists.
The installation team began by transferring the design onto the wall, then masking off sections with removable tape before painting. Each shape was uniquely colored with hand-mixed acrylic latex wall paint. Once each shape was finished and the tape removed, the team performed touch ups and finished the mural with a coat of varnish. Angular geometric designs now dance across the expansive wall. Colors advance and recede as the viewer moves across, filling the lobby space with vibrant joy.