A 25-foot-tall sculpture inspired by Grant Woods iconic painting American Gothic will stand guard in Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park during the Great Indiana State Fair, Aug. 6 22.
God Bless America, which has traveled to Chicago, Florida, Arizona and New York, will feature the well-known farmer with his pitchfork and daughter by his side. The sculpture, installed July 26 with the help of giant cranes, is a reminder of the nations agricultural roots.
This piece of public art is a great opportunity for our visitors to capture a unique moment at the fair, Cindy Hoye, the State Fairs executive director, said. Were also hopeful that it will inspire conversation about the evolution of contemporary production agriculture.
Artist J. Seward Johnson said his work is also intended to help viewers look back and reexamine what theyve learned since the couple in the painting first became icons and how public understanding may have shifted since then.
We accept them as icons, but as an artist I want to ask another question such as, would they be embraced the same way if they came to us today? said Johnson in a prepared statement. Would we view them with more cynicism or can we still see purity at this stage of our social maturity?
The sculpture is on loan from The Sculpture Foundation, a not-forprofit that encourages the placement and sharing of public art.
One key purpose for public art is to initiate dialogue within communities, said The Sculpture Foundations Director Paula Stoeke. Seward Johnsons work is provocative in its very presence, and should turn heads as well as start conversations.
The Indiana State Fair
is the state's largest multi-day event attracting more than 900,000 people annually. Nationally recognized for offering the best in entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premiere facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair is an annual tradition for generations of Hoosiers.