Vast mural project to be focus of party Sunday at Des Moines' Lauridsen Skatepark
Anyone curious about what's going on with the retaining wall at Lauridsen Skate Park is invited to watch artists completing murals on the vast expanse of concrete this weekend.
A mural painting party is scheduled for noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the skatepark off the Principal Riverwalk, east of Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. Attendees are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy not only the mural painting but food trucks and musical performances.
Kami Rankin, community outreach supervisor for Polk County Conservation, said the idea to use the blank wall for art had been under consideration since the skate park opened in May.
"Out of the blue one day, we received an email from a group of guys from the Middle of the Map Tattoo Convention," Rankin told the Register in an e-mail. "They host an annual convention in Des Moines each year at Hy-Vee Hall and they are skateboarding fans. They had heard of the skatepark opening and their email mentioned that they would be interested in partnering on a project sometime."
Rankin's team got approval and the organizers of the Middle of the Map Tattoo Convention, held in April, began planning.
Taking advantage of his network of artistic connections, Middle of the Map co-founder Chris Sullivan helped pull together roughly 25 artists to work on the murals.
"What we decided to do was break it into sections," explained Sullivan. "Each section is anywhere from 800 square feet to 1,100 square feet."
Within each of those sections, every artist or set of artists will be paint a distinct work, differing in style and imagery from other sections. Though a few sections of the mural already have been completed, Sullivan expects to see about 10 artists at work during Sunday's event.
Additionally, Sullivan noted that area students will paint two 200-square-foot sections over the weekend.
The food trucks on hand will include The Traveling Bean, Totally Rolled Ice Cream and What the Fries. Local reggae band The Sheet will performed from noon-2 p.m.
The murals' planned completion comes just two weeks before the Des Moines Streetstyle Open, a Sept. 23-25 skate contest at the skatepark that will bring world-class boarders to Des Moines.