Integrated Public Art Done Right!

They say imitation is the “sincerest form of flattery ” . . . and we are certainly flattered to see the High Trestle Trail Bridge Integrate Public Art Work recreated as part of a set design on a recent episode of THE Voice. We’re thrilled that this project continues to garner national attention for both the art and the experience, a shining example of “placemaking”.

THE VOICE -- "Live Semis" Episode 917A -- Pictured: Barrett Baber -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Placemaking is a process that designers, artist, and communities have embraced. What makes the difference between a “space” and a “place” is “meaning”.  And meaning comes from a community and its people, the shared history or significant elements that connect people with each other and where they live. The use of public art can help provide and make that emotional connection to place. Integrating art into the public environment can effectively transform the perception of space and become a tool for economic development. “From Here to There”, the integrated public artwork designed for the High Trestle Bridge does all of this and more.

The High Trestle Trail Bridge is a collaboration between RDG Dahlquist Art Studio, RDG Planning and Design, and many other professional disciplines and contractors. The installation represents a tour de force in the combination and coordination of art, architecture, and engineering. The installation is the centerpiece that connects over 600 miles of trail, making this bridge a destination icon and new cultural landmark. The project has been recognized by the Americans for the Arts 2012 Public Art Year in Review and recently by the BBC as one of the “Best Eight Footbridges in the World”.

The project began with research, including hiking the banks of the River, photography, and trips to local museums. A series of meetings in each community along the trail provided public input and investment. A narrative emerged, based on geology in the formation of the river valley and local coal mining history that was woven into the design.


We’re honored to be part of a team that includes Snyder & Associates, Inc. Polk County Conservation , Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Trail Communities, and the Iowa Department of Transportation, all contributors to this “amazing” project. This project also represents significant State of Iowa cultural funding, and is a true community icon.


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