The University of Iowa

Art on Campus

Fine examples of this public art grace many locales throughout the University of Iowa campus - building entrances and hallways, courtyards and plazas, sports arenas and river's edge. Some of the pieces of the collection, such as the Nile Kinnick statue, instill fierce pride and prospect of victory. Other works reflect history or mimic the landscape of an outdoor space, creating an area for reflection and interaction.

The University of Iowa boasts a compelling collection of public art that was acquired through Iowa's former Art in State Buildings Program. This program was repealed by the Iowa legislature in 2017. Today, art deemed important to a program or project will be supported by the project budget. The university could also determine art a priority for a specific location supported in the master plan and requested through campus enhancement funds.

Art on Campus Committee Members

Lauren Lessing (Director, Museum of Art)
Lynne Finn (Associate Vice President & Director, Facilities Management)
Steve McGuire (School of Art and Art History Representative)
Paul Hanley (Campus Planning Committee Representative)
Cory Gundlach (Museum of Art Representative)
Jeffrey Liebermann (UI Foundation Representative)
Clara Baldus (Faculty-At-Large)
Betsy Boyd (Community-At-Large)


Art On Campus Map

Explore locations of artwork across the UI campus.

View Map

Complete Gallery of Works

View the full collection of Art on Campus artwork.

View Gallery


Recent  Installations


Artist - Actual Size Artworks

College of Pharmacy Building

This artwork arises from the idea of nature as a source of healing and inspiration. Across time and place, human beings have sought relief and respite in the natural environment and its flora. This “pathway to discovery” through landscape and a vessel encourages us to contemplate the transformation of plants into medicine. The College of Pharmacy, with its emphasis on creating and disseminating knowledge through education and research, encourages a deep consideration of our human condition, with the goal of improving health and well-being. The interface of plants and science provided our point of departure for this project.

Duke Slater: Groundbreaker and Champion

Artist - J. Brett Grill

Kinnick Stadium - North End Zone

Medium: Bronze Relief

To commemorate Duke Slater and Iowa’s 1921 National Championship football team, Grill depicted a cascade of strong, male bodies in motion, descending from the upright, running figure on the left to the fallen player on the right, whose fingers emerge from the picture plane into the viewers’ space.  Slater himself, helmetless and determined, burst from the cluster of bodies at the center of the composition like an unstoppable force.  With his face set in an expression of calm determination, he uses his body as a shield, pushing the players to his left aside and freeing a path for his teammate to run forward with the ball.

The Brain in the Mirror

Artist - Lynn Basa

Psychological and Brain Sciences Building

The call for this work asked the artist to respond to the idea of the brain being the last frontier for science.  Artist Lynn Basa says The Brain in the Mirror deals with the mystery of what happens when the sparks start flying inside the brain to make us who we are.

She continues: “The average human brain weighs 3.3 pounds, 60% of which is fat. It is larger in proportion to our body size than the brains of other animals.  Within it are 86 billion nerve cells (neurons), the “gray matter,” and billions of nerve fibers (axons and dendrites), known as the “white matter.”  The neurons are connected by trillions of synapses.  Brain size is not an indicator of intelligence. . .. and contrary to popular belief, we don’t only use 10% of our brain, pretty much all of it is firing up all the time, even when we’re sleeping.

 I chose blue for the brain because is the most elusive of all colors even though we are surrounded by it every day.  The golden aura on the right side of the artwork is the inspiration and ingenuity in each of us, attempting to tackle what makes us tick. “