UICCU BenchMarks 6.0

UICCU BenchMarks is a nationally recognized public art program. BenchMarks was the first participatory public art project championed by the ICDD and sponsored for the last 6 years by University of Iowa Community Credit Union as part of the Community Gallery Program. Home to over 100 public benches, perfect for relaxing, reading, conversing, or simply people watching, the summer of 2012, the ICDD brought together a group of artists who viewed the benches in another way — as blank canvasses. The UICCU BenchMarks program has brought original art to ordinary public benches, aimed at making art a part of everyone’s everyday life.


For 2017, the program continues with 21 benches that will be found throughout downtown Iowa City, completed by local artists chosen by a panel of judges. Selected artists were given April 2017- May 31st to paint their designs.

Local artists chosen for UICCU Benchmarks 6.0: Helena Kim, Ellen Huggins, Stacia Drafahl, Ansel Cummings, Olivia von Gries, Helen Spielbauer, Matthew Livaudais, Jessica Smith, Cassandra Garza, Eleanor Lindhorst, Harper Folsom, Sanjay Jani, Breeana Glenn, Rachel Cobler, Elaine Irvine, Julie Staub, Kristel Becares, JoJo Baccam, Hannah Song, and Dean Wicklund

Voting for UICCU BenchMarks 6.0 has now ended. Over 6,000 votes were cast for their favorite benches! The results will be unveiled at the end of August, following an artist reception.

Questions? Contact Director of Public Art, Thomas Agran.


  • Application period: March 1 – March 31 at midnight.
  • Acceptance notifications: April 3
  • Artist Orientation (must attend one): April 7 (evening) and April 8 (morning)
  • Painting begins: April 9
  • Painting ends: May 31
  • Artist Reception: (awards will be presented) August 21

The artist application is no longer available for this year. Please check back in 2018