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“Solidarity” mural coming to Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - A new mural celebrating racial and cultural diversity is coming to Dubuque's Main Street.

Concept image of Dubuque's new "Solidarity" mural.
Credit: City of Dubuque

According to a press release, the dimensions of the mural will be 28-feet-high by 105-feet-wide. It will be painted on the exterior of the Five Flags Center located on Main Street and Fifth Street.

The mural will show ten fists in a variety of colors with "SOLIDARITY" spelled out on each wrist. Local artist, Shelby Fry, said she was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests and wanted to celebrate diversity within Dubuque.

"We're all people. If you come together and help your neighbor then things can get better," said Fry." Just don't spread hate, open your mind and realize that they're just human beings like me and you."

About 70 people have volunteered to help complete the mural.

Jenni Petersen-Grant, Coordinator for the City of Dubuque Arts and Cultural Affairs, said while they did receive some criticism for the piece, the overall response from the public has been mostly positive. This is the only mural on city-owned property.

"We've had a lot of folks both supporting it and those not as fond of it reaching out to city council," said Petersen-Grant. "And we've tried to respond to everybody and let them know that we're hearing them, we're hearing their comments as well as their concerns and we want that to be apart of the conversation as well as the support for the mural."

Fry said she hopes the piece will spark a productive conversation about race and inclusion.

"I wanted to use my talents to create a powerful image that people can respond to whether it's positive or negative," said Fry. "But as long as it emotes a response then it's doing its job."

The group is longer accepting help from volunteers. Fry said she expects the mural to be finished before the Fourth of July.

Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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