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Five Island Lake Mural Goes Up Downtown

By Jane Whitmore - | Nov 27, 2020

FIVE ISLAND LAKE -- Artist Marta Biittner is pictured in front of the new mural, commissioned by the Palo Alto Arts Council. Located in the middle of the 900 block, on the east side of Broadway, the mural depicts Five Island Lake and the years of improvements to benefit the common man. Iowa Trust & Savings Bank partnered with the Arts Council to bring the mural to the public. --Jane Whitmore photo

by Jane Whitmore

“This is a mural for the common people because it has the people who were integral in the process of saving the lake, like W.E.G. Saunders and Doc Coffey. And then you have people like Ray Metz who is holding a big fish. It was an active lake. The work to save the lake was done for the people – for the common man.”

That was the reflection by the artist, Marta Biittner, as she looked at the mural that was installed this week in the middle of downtown Emmetsburg.

The new mural was commissioned by the Palo Alto Arts Council, who collaborated with Iowa Trust & Savings Bank, to bring the mural to the people. The Five Island Lake mural is located in the middle of the 900 block of Broadway, on the east side of Highway 4. The artist is Emmetsburg native Marta Biittner. She also painted the Veterans Memorial mural on South Broadway.

“I wanted to get people thinking,” the artist shared. “As an art historian, I look for clues in a painting to try to understand it and so I wanted to give people that opportunity to keep going back, keep finding things.”

Biittner described the mural as multi-dimensional. She incorporated ancient history and up-to-date as much as possible.

“Everything is inter-connected,” she said. “It’s just a question of how much you’re going to look at it and how many times you’re going to be brought back to it.”

She added, “The lake is the heart of the community and I just want to remind people it’s not just something that’s there, it’s something that has been with the entire community and has inspired the community to be better. The type of people who settled here were people who were progressive and water has a flow. The people who were attracted to that were flowing with the times.”

Read the full article in The Democrat.