Community turns out for 'Speed Train' unveiling ceremony

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Skip Lowe, center, holds the scissors while artists Matt Russell, left and Jim Russell hold the ribbon during the unveiling of the 'Speed Train' sculpture on July 9. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

The third sculpture on Willis Avenue was unveiled with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, July 9.

“Speed Train,” a sculpture honoring Perry's past connection with the railroad, was first dedicated through speeches at Caboose Park. Mayor John Andorf and City Administrator Sven Peterson spoke about the railroad-themed sculpture and the streetscape project as a whole.

Two sculptures have already been placed on Willis Avenue through Art on the Prairie. The first, “Born of Fire,” honored the memory of Pete VanKirk and centered around the industrial theme of the Progressive Foundry.

The second, “Iowa Girl,” paid tribute to Roberta Ahmanson. Ahmanson helped revitalize multiple buildings within Perry.

The third, “Speed Train,” was dedicated to those who worked on the railroad or who have a connection to the railroad.

Artist Jim Russell talked about the process behind the sculpture before Skip Lowe spoke on what the sculpture means to Perry.

Those in the audience in Caboose Park then walked across the street for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Look for video from the unveiling ceremony on the Perry Chief's website. And keep watching for a story on the Chief's website.