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A Sculpture With Music In Water Works Park

Natalia Zubko
An early stage of the installation of "River Constellation" in Des Moines' Water Works Park.

A giant piece of public art is going up in Des Moines’ Water Works Park. The work is part sculpture and part musical performance.

The piece near the recently opened amphitheater in Water Works is called “River Constellation.” It’s the result of a collaboration between Brooklyn, New York based sculptor Natalia Zubko and composer Beau Kenyon, a native of Creston.

She designed the 45 ten-foot-tall, stainless steel poles that will be lit by polycarbonate globes. He wrote five-hours of music inspired by sounds heard in the park.

“You hear a lot of the same sounds. But they’re always layered differently and feel very large and very majestic, but at the same time very small and intimate,” he says.

The music will play quietly on a continuous loop. Kenyon used members of the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Opera to perform it.

Zubko says she designed "River Constellation" with Water Works Park specifically in mind.

“I like to go to a site, feel out what’s happening, pull things from the environment or community to integrate that into the piece," she says. "So this piece is made specifically for this area and particularly the park.”

Installation is taking place this week with dedication ceremonies expected in November.