A whimsical look — or two — at Vander Veer Botanical Park has been installed on the walls of a room that overlooks the park at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport.

The park is just across the street from St. Paul, 2136 Brady St. The two pieces of art were created by Jason Platt, Davenport-based artist and cartoonist.

Platt, who is a member of the church, was asked to do the work late last year. The two pieces were hung the first of March.

Church officials knew they wanted local art in the space, which is a conference room with several windows.

"It's always a delightful experience to see what the artistic minds come up with," said Ann McGlynn, director of communications at St. Paul.

She said artistic church members have created works that hang in a few locations on church property. Platt was asked to keep the theme at the park.

"We have a lot of church members involved with the gardens at Vander Veer, and it's an important place to us," McGlynn said.

Platt took two views of Vander Veer. One, in the wintertime, is of the frozen pond. Kids are playing hockey, and people carrying mugs walk by.

The artist likes to incorporate people in his work and to use diversity, including in the ages of the folks he paints.

"I want to show the park being enjoyed by all sorts of people," he said.

In a second painting, it is summer, and Platt takes a look down the "grand allee," or walkway of trees between the conservatory and fountain in the central-city park.

Both pieces of art are full of color. Platt works digitally, and he had the illustrations printed on good-quality ragstock paper.

"The colors are just out of sight," he said. "I love to look at the colors."

Platt and his family are members of St. Paul, and he also was asked to do a special book for Lent two years ago. He was hired to illustrate children's stories from the Bible, and he did 10 to 15 different ones, for each week of Lent. 

"That just knocked our socks off," McGlynn said.

Church officials decided to make the illustrations into a book. It was handed out to the Lenten participants and copies remain at St. Paul.

"It's a really great little keepsake," Platt said.

Platt lives near Vander Veer and walks there often. When he was asked to create some art that revolves around the park, he was glad to accept the offer.

"I'm just inspired by it," he said.

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