Thanks to a group of 11 Main Street volunteers led by Karen Lawton, Bonnie Silbaugh and Kathy Milligan, the petunia and sweet potato vines were planted in 32 baskets for the downtown. Design chair Karen Lawton credits the great working relationship with the City of Jefferson for purchasing the plants and supplies through our local businesses and having the City Street Dept. crew water the baskets throughout the season. The Design committee plans for the plants each season and provides the volunteers to plant.
The pillar planters will be changed out to petunias before the Bell Tower Festival. If anyone would like to be put on the email list of “Flower Power” to know when these projects are being completed, please email Peg Raney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-386-3585. We welcome you to be involved in making our downtown beautiful!
A fourth rooftop art piece is in progress with Sheryl & Lee Sloan working with local artist Curt Nelson to paint a mural depicting Sheri’s love of music. The Sloans own the building where John’s Appliance is located on Wilson in Jefferson. The treble cleff with keyboard will be called “Music Straight From the Heart”. Curt is assisted by a former student artist Aaron Wendell.
Nelson is painting directly on the roof with the artwork of Nichole Schilling beside it. Her piece is called, “Wild Woman on the Roof”. These projects have been initiated by the Tower View Team, a committee of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. This group of volunteers has a passion for the arts and wants to draw people to the Mahanay Bell Tower with art is surprising places – like a rooftop. The only way a person can view this art is by riding the elevator to the Paul Nally Observation Deck and look out the windows.
The Mahanay Bell Tower is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Adults over 18 are $3 and kids 18 & under are free courtesy of HyVee of Jefferson.
The Tower View Team of Jefferson Matters: Main Street invites the public to the third annual Party in the Alley on Friday, June 1 from 5-7 p.m. This year the alley location has changed to the north alley which will be transformed over the next year to Arch Alley. Local alum and artist David Williamson has been working with the Tower View Team members for almost a year to begin brainstorming how to bring this alley to life to be enjoyed by the community and visitors – much like Sally’s Alley on the south side.
During the façade rehabilitation of eleven buildings in 2017, the many arches of the various downtown buildings stood out as being unique. Thus, Arch Alley was conceived with plans to include three metal arches fabricated from ideas of the community members, students and Tower View Team members. A grant was awarded to this group from Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation in April with more fundraising efforts in the works.
The Party in the Alley will include free light refreshments. David Williamson will be on hand to talk with those attending about Arch Alley. A photo op under a painted wooden arch and a chance to purchase an “I’m a Part of the Arch” fundraising button will be a part of the party festivities.
Those attending will also be able to view the new Ring Out for Art sculptures across the street on the north side of the Greene County Courthouse and check out the Rockin’ to RAGBRAI piano by the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower. All of these public art projects are Tower View Team projects.
The Rockin’ to RAGBRAI public piano has been painted by local artist Tony Sims at the request of the Tower View Team of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. The committee gave Tony the only direction of the theme of RAGBRAI since Jefferson will be an overnight host on July 23. At the unveiling of the piano on April 23, Tony shared that RAGBRAI was more about the people than anything else, so he decided to paint portraits of the many faces of RAGBRAI. Some of the faces are local such as Chuck Offenburger and Don & Jean Van Gilder who were co-chairs of the 2008 RAGBRAI overnight in Jefferson. Iconic RAGBRAI personalities of John Karras and Donald Kaul are painted on the front of the piano. Tony uses an air-brush technique in his art work and these likenesses are extraordinary.
The Rockin’ to RAGBRAI piano will be moved to the Bell Tower plaza on Friday, May 25 as the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will open on Saturday for regular daily hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through the end of September. Residents and visitors are invited to stop at the tower to view or tinkle the ivories of this spectacular piece of art in downtown Jefferson. This is the fourth public piano created for the Tower View Te
am to draw people to the downtown.
The Design Committee has worked with the City to order beautiful flowers for the pillar planters. A group of ten volunteers planted the pansies in the twelve planters. They will be getting the hanging baskets ready after Memorial Day to add more color for the summer.
There were 12 more spring banners purchased this year so now they go all around the perimeter of the Square.
Both of these projects are part of the City’s beautification projects using Grow Greene County funds and organized by volunteers of Jefferson Matters: Main Street.