Eagle flies on Sunday at Josh Davis Memorial Plaza

To All Who Serve


The eagle flies on Sunday for Slater artist Shawn Palek, who began work at the start of the week on a patriotic mural in the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza in downtown Perry.

The plaza was dedicated in November 2010 to U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Josh Davis of Perry, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in April 2010.

The Perry City Council gave its blessing Aug. 19 to the idea for an eagle-themed mural on the north wall of the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza. The mural has the support of the Josh Davis family, the city of Perry, the Perry Chamber of Commerce, Perry Economic Development Inc., the Nudgers group and the Art on the Prairie committee.

A trellis was removed, and trees were pruned in advance of the project. The wall was cleaned and primed by volunteers from the community.

Palek, who teaches courses in airbrush and illustration in the Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny art department, is well known in Perry for his recent murals in the Perry Perk coffeehouse and on the back wall of the restored Sinclair gas station at Third and Willis.

“This should take about 30 hours,” Palek said Sunday, standing with airbrush in hand before the 26-foot-by-30-foot white space he will fill. “The trick is finding time between classes when the weather is good and there’s enough light.”

DMACC classes last for eight more weeks, he said, while the schedule for dry weather and sunlight is less certain.

Palek said his largest commission ever was a 7,000-square-foot mural painted 20 years ago on the outside of Skate North at 5621 Meredith Dr. in Des Moines, recently renamed Skateland.


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