Plaid Peacock Mural
“When I go past the peacock, I feel surprised that it’s still there. It makes me feel proud when I go by it because I helped out with it.” K.W., age 8
Youth Art Team was counting the final days of the Love is Power mural when the owners of Plaid Peacock asked them to create a new mural on the side of their two-story building in downtown Waterloo.
Students met with owner Jessica Young during June-July 2012 to hear her dreams for Plaid Peacock and its place in downtown Waterloo, listen to the vision for this new mural, and receive a tour of the shop. Then Plaid Peacock gave the Youth Art Team creative freedom to prepare their very own mural proposal.
After conducting image research at the Waterloo Public Library, students sketched their ideas onto printouts of the building. The final mural proposal was pulled directly from student sketches and was accepted by Plaid Peacock.
Youth Art Team students began transferring the design onto the building themselves, one square at a time! Rotating in blocks, the Youth Art Team spent 12 days completing the Plaid Peacock mural, covering approximately 1500 square feet, during August-September 2012.
Note: The Plaid Peacock mural was drawn and painted by the students themselves! Adults held ladders, drove students to the paint store, and filled paint containers… but no adults were allowed to touch a brush to the wall. All 24 students who helped create the mural are represented by blue silhouetted profiles of themselves in the spots of the peacock feathers.
Upon completion, owners Jessica Young and Heidi Morrissey hosted a dedication party for students, volunteers, and families. They surprised everyone with notes from more than 14 artists and individuals, thanking and encouraging students for their hard work and creative investment in the community.
The Plaid Peacock mural was completed:
- by 24 Youth Art Team students representing 12 families.
- with help from more than 25 volunteers and staff support from Orchard Hill Church, together providing transportation, food, and time spent with students.
- because two local small business owners at Plaid Peacock took a risk on young people in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.
- with help from resources provided at the Waterloo Public Library.
- using 15 gallons of paint contributed by Sherwin-Williams Waterloo and Sherwin-Williams Cedar Falls. (Thank you also for showing students around your stores and letting them check out your paint mixers!)
- with additional supplies and materials paid for through the Youth Art Team’s own fundraising efforts.
- Tim Jamison, “Youth Art Team project takes shape in Waterloo,” Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, September 16, 2012.
- “Trump’s Budget Calls for Elimination of NEA,” NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, March 19, 2017.
- “Not To Brag – Celebrating 50 years of the Iowa Arts Council,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, August 3, 2017.