Rain Campaign Art Piece Mural

May 1, 2024 | Artistic Finishes | 0 comments

I was asked last summer to repair an art piece and custom paint a mural of Iowa native wildflowers on it.


The art piece had been commissioned by Polk County Public Works several years ago to be completed.  It was created to bring awareness to Polk County’s Rain Campaign.  A movement to help homeowners understand the importance of water runoff in order to keep our streams and rivers clean.  The original yellow clocked raincoat structure had been blown over in a storm and received extensive damage.  They had thought it would need be discarded, but upon closer look it was thought it could be repaired.  My son-in-law, John Swanson, who headed up the division at the time, thought of my husband and I to do the necessary work.


Art piece repairs completed by The Finished Edge LLC

My husbands company The Finished Edge LLC, worked on the extensive damage to the fiberglass and was able to make all the necessary repairs.  They then worked on repainting the entire structure.  Once all the structure was painted, it was time for me to start the Iowa native wildflower mural!


I should backup a bit…as I said previously, the raincoat with holes in was to represent the rain flowing through the raincoat as rain flows through the soil and represent the need for watershed management. The art piece is taken allover Polk County to various events along with signage and literature to educate homeowners.  It seemed though that they had always wanted to add a mural to it, but it just didn’t seem feasible.  Well, when the art piece got damage and needed repair, it seemed like the perfect time to make that wonderful idea come to fruition!

One of the main requests was that all the flowers and grasses needed to be Iowa native.  We took a family outing to a local park to see Iowa Native Wildflowers in person.  I took lots of photos and John helped me identify each one.  I took notice as to their height, shape, and their placement in the gardens.  I also took lots of photos to help me recreate them.

I started out creating the coneflowers and rattlesnake master….

I then worked on the grasses and Black-eyed Susan’s,

Then a little Bee Balm and Milkweed was added and so many more beautiful wildflowers! Upon immediate completion it was taken to The Iowa State Fair for display at The DNR building.  It was so fun seeing it in place and all the kiddos coming up and putting their heads through the holes and mamas taking their photo!  It just made my heart sing!

Art piece on display at The Iowa State Fair

I had so much fun working on this mural, and the piece of resistance was when the conservationists could easily identify each of the native wildflowers I painted!  It’s such a pleasure to have a part in teaching those around us about water management and playing a very small role in helping to keep our water ways clean.


If you would like to reach out to me to commission a mural of your very own, feel free to contact me here.  I love working on new projects and florals are my favorite!  If you are interested in learning more about water shed management or Iowa conservation, you can reach Polk County Conservation here.

I encourage you to reach out to your own local conservation or public works department to see if they offer programs on water management and how you can create a rain garden of your very own!