Don't peek, I'm not decent yet.


Iowa City Public Library Sculpture

Iowa City Public Library Sculpture


The Bookmarks Iowa project put more than 30 massive book sculptures across the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor. Taking a page from the “Cows on the Concourse” and “Herky on Parade”, the library partnered with UNESCO to pioneer this unique approach to fundraising and community involvement.

The Iowa City Library Friends Foundation commissioned Brian Gunning and renown calligrapher, Cheryl Jacobsen, to design a statue for the library’s lobby. It needed to display a poem by Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell and it needed to display a list of the 300+ donors who made Bookmarks possible. Was this a project appropriate for the Lab? Oh yes.



A visit with Larry Yerkes, Iowa City’s famous book binder, brought inspiration. The team decided to describe the evolution of the book from Gutenberg to iPad. Cheryl illustrated the interior while Brian handled the sculpture planning, the design of the iPad elements, and the logistics of putting it all together.


The team recruited David Naso and his woodworking team to recraft the back of the book into a giant back-lit iPad framework, heavily altering the structure of the whole piece. Zephyr Printing, Plexicraft and Kahler Collision completed the finishing touches of vinyl, plastics and paint.



Daze_Past_Future_Tense@ICPL is a unique collaborative art installation that ponders the history and future of books. It combines new and old drawing, printing, design, and carpentry techniques into a single analog and digital craftwork.


About Client

The Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation uses private resources to support the Iowa City Public Library.

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Skills Used


Art Installation

Graphic Design