On the occasion of Grant Wood’s 125th birthday, a public art installation inspired by the artist’s most famous painting, American Gothic, engaged Cedar Rapids-area businesses and organizations to sponsor sculptures of the famous dour couple, which will be on display all over the city throughout the summer.
OPN’s design — conceived and executed by Sam Dewall, Hugh Soward, Andreya Veintimilla, Paul Desmond, Jacob Cournoyer, and Jordan Trannell — brings American Gothic into the digital age through the production process and the final sculpture aesthetic. The team started with a 3D scan of the statue. Using a device that can track the eye movement of a person, they documented people looking at a print-out of the original painting to show the most looked at points.
The main points at which people looked first — the most objectively iconic points of the painting — were left blank. The rest is covered in a Plexiglas low-poly version of the original statue. Low poly is a popular aesthetic of the digital age, which is basically simplifying the geometry of something. They laser cut the Plexiglas with patterns from the original painting etched into it.
The larger-than-life statues will be on parade from May through September 2016, culminating at the NewBo Arts Festival. OPN’s sculpture is on display outside the DoubleTree by Hilton on First Avenue NE. Find a map of all 25 sculptures at CRoveralls.com.