Oracles of Iowa City Completion Reception

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Oracles of Iowa City Completion Reception

September 27 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Iowa City, IA — The creation of The Oracles of Iowa City, two 60′ murals adorning the Capitol Street parking ramp stairwell towers in Downtown Iowa City, was completed on Aug 25, 2021. The Oracles are designed by artists Donte’ K Hayes and Antoine Williams and were painted by the Oracles team in Iowa: Jill Wells, Janiece Maddox, and Marissa Hernandez.


A public reception to celebrate completion will be held Mon, September 27 from 5:30-6:30 in the entry lobby of UI’s Voxman School of Music, directly across from the mural site. Partners from the Oracles team will give remarks.


These highly visible murals represent the commitment to the Black communities of Iowa City in the wake of the Murder of George Floyd protests, and prioritizes not only Black voices on artwork in Downtown Iowa City, but paths to equitable work, opportunities, and education for populations often underrepresented in institutions. You can learn more about the project here


The Oracles is a joint project by Public Space One with funding assistance from the City of Iowa City’s Public Art Program and the University of Iowa’s Office of the President of Research.  Public Space One is a local art organization that runs the Center for Afrofuturist Studies (CAS), whose vision is to cultivate a world where Black artists thrive. To learn more about CAS, visit



Community feedback about the project will continue to be collected and archived throughout the process here:



The Oracles team will support local efforts and conversations around the project. Our focus for the next phase of the Oracles project is on the creation of opportunities and fellowships for local BIPOC artists including connection to Center for Afrofuturist Studies visiting artists and programming in continuance of the conversation and resources we have been developing at the Center for the last five years.


There will also be a community feedback session on Saturday, Oct 2 at 4p at the ICPL. More info on that forthcoming.


Understanding the murals

The language of the Oracles (both visual and written) is of a particular time and space: 2020 in the USA. The content was developed by two Black artists via conversations with local Black community stakeholders and utilizes the language of the present to address systemic racism, double consciousness, and white privilege to provoke and unpack language that is at the heart of imagining a just and equitable future for oppressed peoples.


Funding this community initiative

The Oracles of Iowa City was largely funded by the City of Iowa City’s Public Art Program  ($30,000) “to address the experiences of Black people and equitable futures for Black people in Iowa City.” Individual donations to the Center for Afrofuturist Studies ($1000+) also supported the project. Supplemental support was provided by the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President of Research for two undergraduate fellows and two community fellows who gained experience creating and documenting the creative process.


About the CAS

The Center for Afrofuturist Studies is an artist residency program that reimagines the futures of marginalized people by creating dynamic workspaces for artists of color. Dynamic means interactive, supportive, community-engaged, rigorous, and inclusive.


The CAS wants to rethink and challenge what an arts practice that revolves around Black futurity looks like. We believe that’s only possible when arts organizations commit to fully supporting the work being done by Black artists. To that end, CAS artists receive honoraria, funding for travel, housing, studio space, and logistical and programmatic support. Residencies include opportunities to engage both adult and youth audiences, as well as opportunities for studio visits and informal meetings with cultural workers.


The CAS also collaboratively produces exhibitions, workshops, and other programming, as well as maintains a growing public reading room and archive.


Questions about the project

The Oracles team will respond to press inquiries as a group and no one individual can speak for the team. Inquiries should be directed to:


General inquiries

Public Space One (PS1/CAS)

John Engelbrecht

Executive Director



City of Iowa City

Marcia Bollinger

Neighborhood Outreach/Public Art Coordinator



University of Iowa

Please direct media inquiries about the UI to


September 27
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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University of Iowa, Voxman Music Building
93 East Burlington Street
Iowa City, IL 52240 United States
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