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Behind the Scenes at IPR: Creating Spaces to Feature Iowa Artists in Our Studio

Casey Reyner
A new chalk board mural wall in our Iowa City studio's front lobby.

Our Iowa City studio recently got a major face lift. We painted some grey-brown walls robin’s egg blue, got rid of some office furniture that hadn’t been used in years and set up lobby space that reminds us of our living rooms at home. 

As a statewide network, we have studios across Iowa. Talk of Iowa and River to River’s production team is based in Iowa City, and for two hours a day on weekdays, the producers and hosts who work on those shows foster conversation that inspires and educates Iowans.

When we set out on a quest to make our studios more inviting, we wanted our space to match that mission. As we grow as an organization, we're also looking for new ways to meet Iowans. 

Cue a half gallon of chalk board paint, an artist from Monticello named Casey Reyner, and a belt sander.

Reyner desings and draws a chalk mural at a bar and restaurant called The Jitney every few months and has been doing so for three years. He’s also been involved in helping to design and create a chalk board mural wall in IPR’s Iowa City space. 

“Art enriches our lives. Even if we don’t realize it or participate in creating it, we are heavy consumers of it,” says Reyner. “The first time I remember drawing and thinking that it was good was in first grade. I want viewers of my work to take away their own interpretation and maybe get inspired to create something themselves.”

With the new mural wall, we want to invite artists to visit our studios and create and inspire. We hope to feature a new mural every few months, and we will be profiling the artists who participate on our website and on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. 

If you're an artist interested in designing a chalk mural, or visiting us to play an original song or two, contact Lindsey Moon at lmoon@iowapublicradio.org. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer