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Corn Cob , 2010

by Mary Day


Mediums: Mural, Mixed Media

Location: Downtown; Grain Silo 3417 Vinton St. Omaha, NE

Owner: Emerging Terrain

Series: Stored Potential

Additional Information: Omaha artist Mary Day scanned an ear of corn for what she calls a ‘cliche’; to be in Nebraska is to be surrounded by corn, literally and figuratively. And the image of the corn cob is a most obvious recall of the identity and function of the grain elevator as a structure that originally stored the grain. But Mary’s scan lead her to a submission that is anything but cliche, and rather a re-composition of an iconic symbol of farmland in Nebraska and the Midwest, based on an implicitly recurring unit of measure. A corn kernel to a corn row to a corn cob to the rows of corn to the fields of corn is an exponentially increasing unit of measure. Mary used her scanned ear of corn as the structural equivalent of “mathematical” divisions in the picture plane, similar to those that strike her each time she flies over the Omaha landscape. The conceptualization of the rows of kernels parallel the larger concept of rows of corn in the field to fields of corn in the landscape, and so on. Breaking the corn cob into informational lines which converge back to an image of corn parallels the artistic process of contextualizing images into information. The handmade mark is important to the concept because it is a visceral response to visually perceived information. Drawing is about the connection of head to heart to hand. The finished drawing on the silo shows the gestural mark held within the structural division of the corn cob. The drawing of the corn cob into informational bits is an equivalent for patterns perceived from an airplane, or Google earth, or NASA satellite photos.

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