A street covered with tarps weighed down by concrete blocks may not seem like an artistic expression, but in Dysart it’s the beginning of what local leaders hope to turn into one of Iowa’s most unique features: A Main Street painted with an illusion.

Work, interrupted by rain, continues today on the project, which leaders hope to have done for a ribbon cutting on Sunday.

Union High School students are among the volunteers who are helping prepare for the painting. See a blog about the project HERE.

Below is the offiical press release from the Vision Dysart Committee:

The Vision Dysart Committee announces the official opening of The Great Dysart Gorge with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, May 27, from 4–6 p.m. on Main Street Dysart. After brief comments from city officials there will be photo opportunities to capture friends and family taking the plunge into the Gorge.

The Great Dysart Gorge is an anamorphic illusion that intentionally distorts perspective to give the appearance of dimension. The illusion will be painted on the pavement of Main Street between Clark and Wilson Streets. The work began Friday, and will be completed Wednesday. The public is welcome to come and watch as the artwork progresses on Monday – Wednesday.

This community of 1,400 has no art center or museum. “But,” said artist Mary Snyder Behrens, “we have our streets, the park, bike trails and the sides of buildings. What a great way to bring the experience of art to our community in such an accessible way.” The Great Dysart Gorge is the first in a series of planned public artworks leading up to Dysart’s sesquicentennial in 2023.

Follow dysartillusions.blogspot.com for updates on the progress of the artworks.

Vision Dysart is a steering committee sponsored by the Dysart Development Corporation. The committee was formed in response to an Iowa Economic Development community assessment conducted on Nov. 9, 2017. The report indicated strengths and weaknesses within the community and suggested strategies for improvement. Vision Dysart consists of individuals from the business community, government and the community at large, working together to find inventive new ways to help contribute to the betterment of Dysart now and into the future.