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Iowa is home to many artists, art galleries, and wonderful sculptures. Could it also be the perfect location for your next travel nurse assignment? We are currently staffing RN’s in Waterloo, IA. Check out our open positions at Here is our list of the top spots to check out in Iowa’s art scene!

Grant Wood’s American Gothic House & Scenic Byway

One of the most iconic pieces of American art found its inspiration in Iowa. Although Grant Wood’s famous painting American Gothic resides at the Art Institute of Chicago you can see the facade of the home that inspired the painting. Be sure to tour the visitors center and art gallery right next door.

Or if you would like to make a day of it you can take a trip along the Grant Wood’s scenic byway. This 80-mile trek will make you feel like you are in a Grant Wood painting as you travel through the Iowa landscape through Wood’s hometown and to the Mississippi River. A truly unique experience. You can download a guide here

For a little extra credit swing by the small town of Mount Vernon, IA to see the American Gothic Barn. The iconic work has taken a new form as it has been superimposed onto a local barn. A great place to snap some photos!

Barn Quilts

Speaking of barns, Iowa has some beautiful barn quilt pieces to view throughout the state. This phenomenon started in Ohio and quickly spread to many other states including Iowa! Bright colored quilt designs adorn barns across Iowa’s landscape and it continues to grow each year! If you don’t want to drive around to see all of these beautiful designs, many counties offer virtual tours as well! Here you can find the barn quilts of Black Hawk County

Waterloo Center For The Arts

The local Waterloo art center features rotating temporary art exhibitions, performing art events, along with permanent collections including the largest Haitian Art collection outside of Haiti! Plan your visit here

A great bonus spot to visit is The Ragged Edge Art Bar and Gallery. Combine your love of art with a handcrafted cocktail! The gallery features works by local artists and the bar is stocked with delicious beer, wine, and cocktails to wet your whistle! Check out their upcoming events here

Hearst Center For The Arts & Sculpture Garden 

Poet James Hearst’s home was converted into an arts center, complete with two galleries, a sculpture garden, and a performing arts facility. Learn more about their upcoming events and exhibits here

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses more than 7,800 works of art from the Roman era to the present day. The collection focuses on American art from the early 20th century. The Museum homes the world’s largest collection of works of art by Grant Wood. The Museum also possesses a large collection of Roman portrait busts donated by Tom and Nan Riley. With the extensive collection on display. you are sure to enjoy your visit and will quickly plan your next visit to experience more! And the best part is admission is free now through September 5th! See CRMA’s upcoming events and exhibits here

This just scratches the surface of the art scene throughout Iowa! Are you ready for your next assignment in Waterloo, IA? Experience all of the amazing artwork around you, apply today with Vero RN! 

Kristina Thomas

Author Kristina Thomas

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