Rain dancers needed

The Tower View Team has created art in another surprising place – the sidewalks of our downtown square.  With a product called Rainworks, team members found stencils of cute pictures and word art and applied it to the sidewalks.  The catch is that the art does not show up until it is wet.

Tower View Team members heard about this amazing product at a Main Street Conference a year ago and budgeted for it for this spring.  It was difficult earlier in the spring to find a dry couple of days needed for the product to work correctly.  Once applied, this art could possibly last as long as a year.

During the next rains, take a walk with your umbrella around the outside of the downtown square to view this art in a surprising place. Then step into our many shops and eateries to enjoy the day in Jefferson.

The Tower View Team is one of the committees of Jefferson Matters: Main Street.

Ring Out for Art 2017 winners

The second annual Ring Out for Art Sculpture Contest is in the books for 2017. People’s Choice Award of $2,000 went to Shane Olson of Churdan, IA and Jolene Peters of Carroll, IA.  Shane and Jolene collaborated on this great sculpture, We Are … Greene County. Their artist statement is as follows, “Our sculpture represents Greene County … the past, present, and future. We have collaborated to represent several layers and images we feel will speak to the people of Greene County and the history that is important to preserve. Our focal point will be the Bell Tower, as we feel this is truly a main stay in our community. We will use several different types of steel to convey strength, yet diversity of our people. The five panels will include images of a farm scene, two state of Iowa panels with different inside images. One side will incorporate wind turbines, a bicycle rider biking amongst the corn fields, and the other side will portray a Lincoln Highway design including the Lincoln Highway Sign. We will also include a panel for the future of Greene County; which we agreed should be an image of the upcoming generation/family, with the words, Live, Learn, Grow.”

Pictures L-R are Shane, Jolene, Tower View Team Member Roger Aegerter, and Home State Bank President Sid Jones.







The second place Ring Out for Art winner went to “The Catch” by Anna Modeland of Boone, Iowa. Anna won $1,000 from Home State Bank of Jefferson. Anna’s artist statement is “I chose this piece because as the national bird, the eagle embodies the strength and freedom of our country. The eagle has also become more prominent in Iowa and has gained further popularity from the Decorah eagle cam. I original submitted this piece for Clive’s “Art Along the Trail” display in 2012 and I was one of six artists chosen to display their piece. I fabricated the bell around the eagle’s neck. I opted for a rusted look to show beauty in the metals’ most natural state.








The third place winner was Zachary Bowman with his sculpture entitled “Iowa”. Zachary won $500 from Home State Bank. This artist is from Ankeny, Iowa. His artist statement about his piece states: “With its broad, sweeping lines, “Iowa” subtly mimics the shapes found in the tower’s bells. The lower half dome give viewers the sense of security – and sometimes containment – that often comes from living in a small town with a close knit community. However, the upper half dome releases that confinement and awakens a feeling of freedom and encouragement to use the roots that have been developed by the community to branch out and try new things. These new ventures may lead away from Iowa, or quite possibly end where they began – in Iowa communities and local businesses. Either way, this piece reminds us to stay true to the aspirations that ring inside us all.”










A very special thank you goes to Home State Bank for sponsoring the monetary prizes for the Ring Out for Art. The three winning sculptures will be moved soon to the north side of the plaza where they will remain in the community for one year.

From 14 to 47 bells in Mahanay Tower

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower is now complete with 47 bells which is a four octave carillon.  For 50 years, the Tower has hosted 14 bells that played the Westminster Chimes but not much else.  Recorded bell music has played from speakers for a number of years.  The Bell Tower Community Foundation kicked off their “Let the Bells Ring” fundraising campaign for the 50th Anniversary of the tower in 2016.  A sizeable bequest from Paul Nally was used to start the campaign with a Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation grant awarded for $61,500 in early 2016.  This gave the momentum for other donors to purchase the bells needed for a four octave carillon.  Fifteen bells had been purchased by donors over 20 years ago but were left in a case in the courthouse.  Cost for the completion was $440,000.  A Vision Iowa grant was awarded in June of 2016 so the Foundation could announce the successful completion of the campaign at the 2016 Bell Tower Festival.  A re-enactment of the original dedication ceremony was a part of the Oct. 16, 2016 50th Anniversary celebration.  The bell donors were all recognized and the excitement built for the bells to be hoisted in the spring.  On May 24, 2017 the first load of smaller bells with the trailer of remaining bells arriving on May 25.  Over the Memorial Day weekend, numerous residents and visitors enjoyed watching the process.  The bells were in place on Memorial Day.  Music will begin to play as soon as everything is in place.  Live Tower Tune Concerts are planned daily at 12:15 – 12:30 pm and the bells will play electronically throughout the day.

Party in Sally’s Alley on June 2!

All Jefferson residents are invited to celebrate with the Tower View Team at a Party in the Alley on June 2. The event will be held in Sally’s Alley on the south side of the square from 5 – 7 p.m. This is an adult celebration with sangria and lemonade being served along with light appetizers. The hosts will unveil the newest painted piano called “Tuned In” with several local pianists entertaining party-goers. This piano was painted by Kay Magill of Jefferson honoring former Tower View Team member Kathy Hankel. The plantings in the alley should be in full bloom for this event. This is a community celebration of a special place in our downtown. There will be a free-will donation towards more Tower View Team projects. Lynda Cochran and Dianne Piepel are coordinating this event for the Tower View Team.

The Tower View Team is a committee of Jefferson Matters: Main Street and is responsible for many improvements in the downtown. They coordinated the Sally’s Alley project , three rooftop art projects, yarn-bombing of the trees and bicycles, Ring Out for Art sculpture contest, Mahanay Bell Tower Memories and Moments community poem with David Williamson in 2016, and are looking forward to working on the next alley project on the west side of the square and much more. This committee is made up of enthusiastic and creative people who enjoy bringing public art and activities to the downtown. They welcome residents to join them and get involved. You can contact Debra McGinn, the chairperson of Tower View Team or Main Street Director Peg Raney.