Mural Update: Nine New Murals in the Works for 2018



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Voices Productions has taken to the streets of Dubuque once again to add color and life to buildings around the city.

In 2016, the organization suspended its 11-year tradition of Millwork District gallery shows to embark on a public art project. The result was 18 large scale murals.
See the 2017 murals here.

The group is setting out to complete nine more in 2018, bringing the total to 27. So far two are in progress or completed: one on the Steve’s Ace Hardware building at 200 S. Locust St., and one at 1638 Central Ave. Many others are planned for Central Avenue.

“The difference between this year is that property owners are reaching out to us, asking to participate in the mural initiative by requesting a mural on their wall and offering to pay for it,” said Sam Mulgrew, president of Humanities Iowa and one of the five directors of Voices Productions.

The murals are also supported by grants and partners, including Runde Auto Group and Humanities Iowa.

The art is drawing quite a bit of attention — tourists and locals can be seen snapping photos of the giant paintings.

“Public art and murals are important because they take fallow, lifeless public walls and transform them into animated places,” Mulgrew said. “In the process, a zeitgeist is expressed, and diverse audiences are engaged.”

The newest mural on Steve’s Ace Hardware is being painted by Gaia, the same artist who painted the Automate and floral murals on 2nd St.

The mural at 1638 Central Ave. depicts La Pacha Mama, an Incan fertility goddess. It also features the Mississippi River and Julien Dubuque Bridge. It was designed by Miami painter Luis Valle.

When the murals are complete, a program will be produced so that observers can take a walking tour.

Learn more about Voices Productions here.


Congrats to Salesperson/Artist Nick Roche!

Runde Chevrolet salesperson Nick Roche was awarded second place in the professional category of Art Slam at Voices X on Saturday!

This was his first time competing in the 90-minute live painting competition.

Nick Roche

Nick Roche

“It went well,” Nick said. “It went really fast.  It was kind of hard to know when to stop because you only had so long and so you didn’t want to put too much in and not be able to fix mistakes. With about 10 minutes to the end, I was pretty much done.”

The subjects of the painting were models posing in the warehouse at the corner of 10th and Jackson streets. Nick’s favorite part was the feedback he received.

“A guy was watching me – my dad overheard him, actually – and he said he knew by my style who I had learned that under,” Nick said. “He came up to me after and said he was interested to see how I progressed as an artist and he had a lot of positive things to say. After that, I didn’t care about winning or anything.”

He mentioned the most difficult part was figuring out where to start and position the objects he was drawing. Nick said he would do the competition again if he had the chance.

For more information about Voices X and its upcoming events, visit Runde Auto Group is the premier sponsor of the event.

Photos are courtesy of Kevin Roche.

Runde Salesman to Compete in Painting Competition

Runde Auto Group is excited to announce that one of our own, salesman Nick Roche, will be competing in Art Slam as a part of Voices X!

The live, timed painting competition will feature five student teams and four professional teams who will be painting live models. It will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Nick Roche

Nick Roche

Nick has has been painting since the early 2000s. He usually paints abstracts with oil, but for his first Art Slam, he will be painting models with acrylic.

“I took a lot of figure drawing in college,” he said.

Nick studied Art and English at Loras College.

As music pumps through the warehouse, attendees will watch as the artists complete a painting in 90 minutes, voting for their favorites by dropping dollars in voting boxes. A three-member jury will judge the final works, and two $1,000 prizes will be awarded.

The boisterous atmosphere will be a new experience for Nick since he usually paints with classical or jazz music.

“I don’t normally paint in front of people so it will be different,” Nick said. “It’s not something I’d typically do.”

Nick, who is from the Chicagoland area, has worked at Runde Chevrolet for 2 ½ years.

This is a scene from Art Slam at last year's Voices From the Warehouse. This year's event will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. Doors open at 6 p.m.

This is a scene from Art Slam at last year’s Voices From the Warehouse. This year’s event will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Runde Auto Group is the premier sponsor of Voices X, a month-long art exhibition that is held in Dubuque’s warehouse district, at the corner of 10th and Jackson Streets.

Join us Saturday night as we cheer on Nick and the other artists!


Teams will include:

Students – Clarke University, University of Wisconsin Madison, Loras College, University of Northern Iowa

Professionals – Corinna Button, Monica Balc, Doug and Donna Schliesier, and Nick Roche