Drinkwater Swanson’s mural a bridge to Perry’s past, future

(November 20, 2018)

Iowa State University Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Drinkwater Swanson put her final touches this week on “El Puente,” the 20×30-foot mural outside the Perry City Hall, a work in progress since 2016.  “‘El Puente’ is done,” Drinkwater Swanson said Monday. “Now, if it would just hit 50 degrees so I can seal it.”

The mural — el puente is Spanish for the bridge — is connected to the history of Perry and is based on migration stories from Perry’s Latina community that were recorded by Drinkwater Swanson’s friend and ISU Extension and Outreach collaborator Jon Wolseth.

The artwork had its origin in a 2015 grant of $10,000 from Humanities Iowa to the Perry Public Library for the project Latino-Americans: 500 Years of History. Grant funding for the project was also received from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.