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About the Cover
A number of accomplished artists call the Cedar Valley home. This year the Cedar Falls and Waterloo Visitor Bureaus asked not one, but two of them to create our visitor guide cover.
The resulting image is a collaboration between painters Paco Rosic of Waterloo and Gary Kelley of Cedar Falls. Although they both share similar passions for their art, they can also be a study of contrasts. Paco, who painted the left half of our cover, works with aerosol cans of acrylic color. He has elevated this specialty of graffiti art to a new level and it's on view nightly at his family's restaurant, Galleria de Paco. The artist is a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia, and lived for a time in Germany before migrating to the United States as a boy.
By contrast, Gary Kelley is a native Iowan and an internationally recognized illustrator. He's been a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications and he created the ubiquitous author murals seen in Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide. In his downtown Cedar Falls studio, Gary conceived and sketched our cover image on a large canvas before handing it off to Paco, who then worked his aerosol magic on the left half of it.
Next, Paco returned the unfinished art to Gary, who completed the right side of it in his more traditional oil painting technique. The result was a unique challenge to these two skilled painters from different generations and different cultures. And if you ask either of them, despite these difference, two things they'll always have in common are a passion for Picasso and a passion for their own personal art.