New art installations have changed the view along five of Des Moines’ popular bike trails. These “art corridors” include panels mounted to a line of metal posts, angled towards pedestrians and cyclists zipping down the trail.

“If you’re familiar with kinetic art, or elliptic lenticular art, where no matter how you’re moving, you get to see something different — that’s really what we wanted to do,” said Aaron Graves, four-year park planner in the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department.

The Bike Trail Art Corridor Project, spearheaded by Graves, is scattered along sections of the Bill Riley Trail, Carl Voss Trail, John Pat Dorrian Trail, Neal Smith Trail and Walnut Creek Trail.

The project is a collaboration between the city, community organizations and a local family looking to memorialize their lost loved one. The Honorable Colin J. Witt, who died in February 2020 after a 19-month battle with cancer, served as an associate judge in Polk County’s juvenile court and spent his career advocating for child welfare and the rights of families.

“He believed that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done,” reads his obituary. “Colin had the ability to hold power and tenderness in the same breath; always seeking to see the other and lead with love, understanding, mercy and justice.”

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