Portrait of Artist Mitchell Squire, 2019
Photo Courtesy of  Eric J. Salmon
Art Type
Media / Materials
Year Completed
Commissioned by Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation
Latitude & Longitude
41.583430, -93.624448
Location Description

Bus Wrap #10: Multiple Black

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Created by artist Mitchell Squire, Multiple Black is the title of the tenth (10th) commission by the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation in collaboration with the DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transport Authority). 

Concept design of “Multiple Black” by Mitchell Squire, 2019


The bus travels approximately 27,000 miles per year or 2,250 miles per month into communities throughout Greater Des Moines. These routes include Ankeny, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines, Grimes, Windsor Heights, West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale and Johnston, Iowa. 

Multiple Black was unveiled to the public ion 25 July 2019 at the site of  “A Monumental Journey” along Grand Avenue near 2nd Street in downtown Des Moines.


A crowd gathered at the site of public art project “A Monumental Journey” by Kerry James Marshall [seen in background] for unveiling event of “Multiple Black.”
Residents and visitors helped celebrate the unveiling of the Public Art Foundation’s 10th bus design in series of bus wraps designed by nationality recognized artists.


Artist and educator Mitchell Squire, whose practice encompasses architecture, visual art, and the study of material culture commented on the inspiration to create “Multiple Black.”

The unveiling was celebrated with comments from The Honorable Frank Cownie, mayor of the City of Des Moines, Tim Hickman, president of Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, and the artist Mitchell Squire. The poet Daron Richardson, Jordan Gregory dancers, and Hip Hop musician MarKaus also performed.

The performances featured an ensemble of young multi-racial dancers inspired by America’s most internationally renowned music genres, including jazz, blues, R & B, Reggae and Hip Hop. Above is Kai Cowan performs a modern dance improvisation to early-20th century jazz.


THE JORDAN WILLIS DANCERS expressed appreciation for the audience’s enthusiastic applause and takes a bow.


The Public Art Foundations initiative places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public space—and in this case, around a large transit bus.


[left to right] GDMPAF Board of Directors: Tom Hickman, president; Jonathan deLima; Khalid A. Khan, and Mary Louise Sconiers Chapman, ED.D.; Artist Mitchell Squire; Polk County Supervisor & DART Board Member Angela Connolly; DART CEO Elizabeth Presutti; GDMPAF Director M. Jessica Rowe, and Susan Fitzsimmons, vice-president GDMPAF Board of Directors.

“[Multiple Black] illustrates a design made from an assemblage and collage of original photographs. The images include a base layer of dark tightly curled strands of hair combined with gold jewelry and pearls on the left side, and “parts” in the hair and freshly manicured and adorned nails on the right side of the bus.

This is a celebration of the artistry and style fully expressed in multiple ways in the black community.”

Mitchell Squire