Sculptor Greg Mueller, the Gustavus Sesquicentennial Sculptor, is one of 43 national artists whose works have been selected for the 2012 Mankato Public Art Tour. The piece is titled “Portal for the Agrarian” and is created from reclaimed agricultural salvage and cast iron. The 12-foot high sculpture is located just off of Veterans’ Bridge on 2nd Street and Main.
“Portal for the Agrarian” includes silo roofing, cast iron corn cobs, tractor seats (not the comfy vinyl ones with arm rests — real tractor seats), tractor tires, and assorted pieces found on farms from Ohio to Minnesota. His interest in work with reclaimed agrarian materials began while he was working in a largely rural area of Ohio. He writes, “A farmer once told me ‘working the fields wasn’t boring; it was good thinking time.’ ‘Portal for the Agrarian’ is a tangible reverence to that Corn Belt work ethic of agriculture. My vision is to invent alternative people places that convey a subtle sense of wonder. Rescuing agricultural salvage is my intuitive attempt to breathe new life into the reclaim and harmonize the spirit of disparate materials.”
City Art is an annual juried exhibition of outdoor sculptures displayed year-round in the City Centers of Mankato and North Mankato. Artists place their sculptures in the program for one year and the works are promoted for public for sale. One artists in the tour will be voted The People’s Choice and the work purchased by the City Center Partnership for permanent installation in Mankato. Additional information on the exhibition or to view a map of the 2012 Mankato City Art Walking Sculpture Art tour can be found at http://www.cityartmankato.com/tour
In addition to the inclusion of “Portal” for the Mankato art tour, Mueller has had another work, “Thinking Space for the Agrarian,” selected for the Port of Dubuque’s Art on the River exhibition in Dubuque, Iowa, opening July 12 and running through the summer. As with his Mankato work, Mueller has reclaimed pieces of buildings and agricultural machinery (including another tractor seat) to create “Thinking Space for the Agrarian.” The website for the 2012 Art on the River exhibition is not ready to view at the time of this pubication but will be available at http://www.cityofdubuque.org/index.aspx?NID=311 in June.
Greg Mueller holds a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and a master of fine arts degree from Montana State University School of Art in Bozeman, Mont. He most recently served as an assistant professor specializing in sculpture and 3D design in the department of art and art history at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Penn. Prior to that, he taught sculpture for six years at Bowling Green State University School of Art in Bowling Green, Ohio. In addition to his work as Sesquicentennial Sculptor, Greg has been commissioned to work on several projects in the past year, including pieces for Christ the King Church in Mankato, Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, N.D., and the Huntington Center Hockey Arena in Toledo, Ohio.