Prairie Art

Today I drove the width of Indiana, Illinois and lowa. Yes, there’s corn. But there’s more too. There’s art. All around me was art. Stark white barns glowing against lush green cornfields. Flatbed trucks pass with massive farm equipment in bright red, or blue or John Deere green, equipment so large and elaborate that it seemed designed by Dr. Seuss. And mile upon mile of 90 foot high wind turbines stretching to the horizon, lining the hills like giant pinwheels slowly turning in the prairie breeze. But it’s not just art in the imagination of this weary traveler. There’s some of the more traditional (and less interpretive) stuff too. At rest stop just over the Iowa border, giant sculptures of corn, hogs bass, Β and other representations of Iowa’s gifts greeted me, clustered in front of a visitor center rest stop as a treat for those who choose to pull off at that moment and peruse the row of vending machines. And as I pulled off the highway in Council Bluffs for the night, Albert Paley’s sculptures on the 24th Street bridge welcomed me, standing 100 feet above the roadway below. A very fitting end to my 543 mile drive through the gallery of the heartland.

Harvest - sculpture by Thomas R. Stancliffe at the Wilton Rest Area, Wilton, Iowa

Harvest – sculpture by Thomas R. Stancliffe at the Wilton Rest Area, Wilton, Iowa

Wind Turbine, Adair Iowa

Wind Turbine, Adair Iowa

Albert Paley's sculptures, 24th Street Bridge, Council Bluffs, IA

Albert Paley’s sculptures, 24th Street Bridge, Council Bluffs, IA

ok, so maybe not really art, but it sure was tasty...

ok, so maybe not really art, but it sure was tasty…

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10 thoughts on “Prairie Art

  1. Such fun! And under vast skies and gorgeous clouds, no less. And now, do you turn northward into the Dakotas, as Lewis and Clark did in 1804, or do you forge a new route westward into Nebraska?

    • Westward thru Nebraska to Wyoming – first Laramie (where my nephew lives) then diagonally across the state to the NW corner and Jackson Hole (where my brother lives). I was just watching Ken Burn’s film on Lewis and Clark this evening in the hotel and I have to admit feeling a bit Sacagawean!

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