Hello, River

At its core, ICON is about connection: connecting water, communities, and people. We see this expansive network touching all areas of the community — a confluence of conservation and culture. Check out our signature public art initiative, Hello, River, below.


Hello, River is the product of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant. Minneapolis-based studio, Plus/And, consisting of artists Emily Stover and Amanda Lovelee, developed the concept with the intent of creating an approachable method for engaging with the waterways. Hello, River serves as a beacon, welcoming people to interact with the river using their senses. The installation consists of a steel arch sculpture finished in iridescent white pearl, inspired by the shape and coloring of a mussel native to Iowa waterways. It produces sound captured from within the river, inviting people to listen to the way the water is flowing each day. The piece is located next to the Lauridsen Skate Park and the future home of ICON Water Trail’s Center Street site.


Art can provide additional points of engagement with the world around us, and that is exactly what Hello, River is designed to do. The audio function of this installation helps clue in users on the current water flow of the Des Moines River. Hello, River serves as a conversation starter about what it means to safely recreate, how users must be aware of the water trails, and why accessibility — to nature and art — is critical to thriving communities. Learn more about the water trails from our expert partners:


When complete, ICON will connect more than 150 miles of water trails. Along the banks, we imagine public art installations that create additional opportunities to engage with our natural resources, ultimately developing an artshed for our community. The Bravo/ICON Public Art Grant is the primary mechanism we’re using to activate this vision. This funding is accessible on an annual basis to all of ICON’s member jurisdictions and provides a unified, strategic approach to art within the ICON footprint. To learn more, click here.

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