So.6 celebrates Joy of Diversity

Alejandra Alvarez , or Ale, a talented artist originally from Columbia, is making her impact on Iowa City through her artistry. Having lived in Iowa City for a year and a half, she is already creating pieces that will leave an everlasting legacy. Ale originally moved here with her husband, so that he can complete his PhD at the University of Iowa. Despite initial nerves about moving to this new place, Ale quickly fell in love with Iowa, finding comfort in its meaning, “beautiful land.” Iowa City’s close-knit community has provided Ale with a supportive environment to grow as an artist, especially within the South District and Public Space One (PS1). 

Ale’s journey as an artist began with studying interior design, where she discovered the power of color and design in everyday life. Ale believes that art is everything—it’s about sharing, teaching, and encouraging others. It is all around us and can be experienced through everyday life experiences. 

Her connection to the South District and PS1 has been profound. PS1 is an artist-led, community-driven, and contemporary art center that provides an inclusive space to create and share art. Teaching at PS1 has given Ale confidence and helped her overcome her fear of having certain language barriers, as well as the opportunity to show her work, engage with other artists, and discover her strengths and weaknesses. She has found inspiration in the diversity of the area, which she beautifully captures in her Herky design named “The Joy of Diversity.”

“The Joy of Diversity” Herky is a celebration of the rich cultural tapestry of Iowa City’s South District. The statue features a ribbon wrapping around the arm and leg, adorned with greetings from different languages. This invites passersby to appreciate the diversity of languages and cultures present in Iowa City. “The Joy of Diversity” Herky will be placed in the South District Market off of Highway 6. 

Ale’s choice of medium, which includes printmaking, drawing, painting, sewing, and cooking, reflects her desire to create art that transcends traditional boundaries. Through her Herky design, Ale has achieved her goal of creating large-scale artwork that comes alive in three dimensions.

Looking beyond her current project, Ale welcomes community engagement with her art. She can be found at PS1 doing workshops or volunteering. Her Instagram, @tinta.aleli (ink flower), is another way to connect with her and support her artistic endeavors.

Ale’s art is not just about aesthetics; it’s a celebration of diversity, an invitation to wonder, and a testament to the power of community. Through her work, Ale is leaving a lasting impression on Iowa City, one that resonates with its vibrant and diverse culture.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ale’s work or getting involved in her artistic endeavors, be sure to reach out and connect with her.