Work is now underway on a two-story-high mural featuring colorful images of bike riders.
The mural, which is being painted on the side of Hall Bicycle Company, 419 Second Ave. SE, pays tribute to RAGBRAI – the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – which will mark its 50th anniversary next summer. The mural will also commemorate Hall Bicycle’s 125th anniversary in business in 2023.
“Biking and the economic impact it brings to our community are incredibly important to Cedar Rapids and our local businesses,” said Jesse Thoeming, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District. “We want to have the best RAGBRAI tribute in all of the state to be located right here in downtown, and what better place than on the side of Hall Bicycle, an iconic fixture in our city.”
Hall Bicycle Company opened in 1898. It is locally owned and has remained a staple of downtown Cedar Rapids for more than 100 years.
The mural faces the downtown bike trail along Fourth Street SE. It is the third new mural to be added to downtown this year. The mural is fully funded by the Downtown SSMID (Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District), which notes that vibrancy and placemaking are central to its vision and mission.
The Downtown SSMID worked with On View Gallery, a locally owned studio, gallery and public art supporter, to select the mural artist and review the design.
“On View Gallery is pleased to help facilitate another wonderful mural in the growing Cedar Rapids mural landscape,” said Bex Hurn of On View Gallery. “It is an honor to be paying tribute to RAGBRAI and Hall Bicycle during their anniversaries, and getting to work with CERA, who is such a great talent.”
The artist, CERA, is a mural artist currently based in the Chicagoland area. CERA’s work is an integration of digital drawings, printmaking techniques, and painting. His projects spread across genres including street art, private commissions, public projects and collaborations. He is known for using bold color and graphic patterns to entice his audiences into a sense of excitement and wonder. His work has been exhibited in Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and Seoul, South Korea.
Work on the mural is expected to take two weeks.