Sunday, June 19, 2011

cornhenge


This strange field of 109 eight foot tall concrete ears of corn is one of the landmarks in Dublin, Ohio, my neck of the woods.  It was created in 1994 as a tribute to our agricultural heritage, and also a memorial to Sam Frantz, who farmed this site from 1935 to 1963.  Frantz was well-known for his hybridization of corn seeds and worked with the Ohio State University on hybridization projects.

The artist brought in by the Dublin Arts Council for this project was Malcolm Cochran, who created three different molds to fashion the larger-than-life-sized concrete ears.  

The field of giant corn is somewhat of a local joke, often referred to as "Cornhenge".  Personally, I like it best in the winter, in lovely monochrome against the snow.  As much as I love art, I can't say our tax dollars spent on inedible corn were used wisely.  We are, however, included in the quirky and eccentric American landmarks at Roadside America.


68 comments:

  1. One persons trash is anothers art I guess. I keep visualizing some poor soul trying to cut the grass around all that ....

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  2. That's exactly what I was imagining when I stopped to take pics this week.

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  3. It is cool in a strange way. Imagine all the art never created if people were so practical. What a boring world it would be. : )

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  4. I think it's wonderful! Are you allowed to picnic there? And why 109?

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  5. very funny. perhaps just a select few arranged a bit closer together might have worked. still, this is unique.

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  6. Cornhenge makes list of places to see before I die.

    Best homage to corn. Ever!

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  7. kansas, eat your heart out!
    roadside attractions, pull over please.

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  8. Cro, I have no idea why 109. I wondered the same thing. It is considered a park, of sorts, but I've never seen anyone picnic there.

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  9. I must agree with your final statement about the tax dollars being spent wisely. Maybe just one ear . . .

    Funny, though.

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  10. CG, yeah, I think one ear would have been great. I forget exactly how much it cost, but it was hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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  11. I love it. art is in the eye and all that. we need more public art of all kinds. there's a reporter here in Houston who makes it a point to publicize all the public art installations in the city as being a waste of tax payer money. He has no sense or sensibility. Every one he has complained about, I have liked. really, it makes me so angry sometimes, they way people think money spent on art is a waste. I'd much rather our government spent money on art than bullets and other war machines.

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  12. Ellen, I am with you totally on investing in art. I like most any art, any at all. I love art, period. But this? This is, pardon the pun, corny.

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  13. I think that is so cool. It reminds me of all the years of Charles Kuralt's tours of interesting sites around America. We love corn on the cob around our house and that is a quirky tribute to our summer passion.

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  14. That is my kind of place, and the winter scene you have painted is quite something. Tess, please promise you'll go back and take pics then!
    Great post.

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  15. that is so amazing...they are truly beautiful....thanx for once again sharing a fascinating place my friend

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  16. You've got to love America --

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  18. Liza, I promise. I will take a snowy winter corn pic and post it for you!

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  19. My daughter absolutely loved this, I want to go now. Never mind stonehenge, this would be a cheaper vacation. :)

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  20. Hi! Willow...
    The photographs are beautiful and "Cornhenge" is an unique place too!
    [Note: Hmmm...I would think with that triangle around the corn base it shouldn't be a problem mowing around the base. Maybe, I'm wrong?!?]
    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee ;-)

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  21. Reminds me of the skit in 'Corner Gas' where the town wants to get some recognition and decides to build the 'world's giant hoe' - LOLOL.

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  22. I find it quite ingenious, rows upon rows of corncobs forming a memorial evoking an agricultural past forever lost to suburban sprawl, the park itself a place to explore and wonder.

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  23. Dear Tess: What is need besides the ears are eyes, or glasses...like the kind worn at a party! I think these cobs have personality. And it is corn on the cob not cob on the corn! I'm thinking party in the cornfield...am I corny? (worked for Green Giant so I should be!)

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  24. Chicco...in the valley of the jolly...ho-ho-ho...Green Giant! Corny? Absolutely!

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  25. That's pretty funny. How true--cutting the grass around that has to suck. One I could see, a field of 'em, not so much, maybe. But it's a good conversation piece, or I suppose it could come in handy if you're giving directions, "you know, hang a right near the big cornhenge statues?"

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  26. Interesting landmark, but it can't beat the Corn Palace.

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  27. Yeah, 333, butter. And LOTS of it! I'm thinking "Secret Window" here, heh-heh.

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  28. How long will it be before some developer tears them all down to build apartments?

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  29. Strikes me as a tad bit odd. I left Ohio in 1983 so there is reason I never heard of this place. And my family came from Dublin Ireland long ago in 1790. I think it is cool but they might have done something with the placement of the ears of corn.

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  30. tess, i'd love to let kids go out there and paint one kernel each with any colour, any image. steven

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  31. Cornhenge in winter, yes we
    all will wait for fall and those
    pics on your site. You know if
    you stand on your head while
    viewing the site, the number
    becomes 601. But probably it
    would cost less if 40 of them
    had been done in the shape
    of a Dublin shamrock.

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  32. Steven, that's a fantastic idea. I love that. It would make it so much more interesting and personal.

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  33. Tess, it wouldn't be wise to let these loose amongst your corn.

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  34. Your concrete cows need to be grazing in and among our Ohio corn! I must admit, I think the cows are a bit more interesting.

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  35. What a lotta space for one artwork! But, I do know why 109. He just got tired of mixing the concrete and stopped. Then he said; "Damn! A hundred and nine! If those shiny asses at City Hall want more they do it themselves!"

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  36. Ha ha, a group of seven could have been a nice conversation piece but 109??? whatever for?

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  37. Tess -- this is quirky! Who in the heck thought of this design and who paid for it? -- barbara

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  38. I like it. Controversial. Looks like corn fields will look in the future with genetically altered corn. Who needs the stalk, silk, multiple ears when you can just grow megalithic corncobs havested with chainsaws. Also reminds me of something else, didn't a recently disgraced public servant resign because he had one of these in his underpants? Well, he thought he did;)

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  39. P.S. in my neck of the woods, so to speak, public art that fails to live up to its hype isn't tolerated. Just google the Cardiff Kook and you will see what I mean. I can imagine the pranks that could be pulled on those 109 corncobs!

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  40. Those cobs are in a field of their own :)

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  41. Stafford...haha...I think you are exactly right about the 109! Sheesh.

    Barbara, we local tax payers paid for it. Sheesh again.

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  42. I have just found your site this moment. The only thing I have looked at so far is CORNHENGE and I cannot believe it. I live in Hebron Ohio just a small jaunt from Dublin and have never heard of this. I MUST go!! Thank you!

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  43. How fun it would be to run through that field!

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  44. How cool! I'm going to guess each ear is different and modeled after a real ear of corn. I appreciate this idea, but wouldn't one or two ears be enough? Wondered why they chose to have 109?

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  45. 109 Generations since the establishment of the Christian faith if the average is approximately 18 years per generation. Ironic that another older civilization also born on the back of Corn should have fallen under the guise of faith and conquest just South of you M'lady. Monuments to Ego not Art despite time and memory losing the meaning. Time is the thief of such ideals.

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  46. I love art like this... it really appeals to me, it has humour but also is very stern. I'd love to see it in an un-mown field, just for the juxtaposition... great photo's x

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  47. Perhaps in this case less would have been more.

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  48. I like the idea of letting the grass grow up -- or better yet, plowing it up and sowing poppies...

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  49. Very meaningful. Corn is... has been so important, I think it is all processed food... it was most important to Native Americans.

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  50. Maybe in 6-7 months, a photo after a snowfall? Possible? Probable?

    If I knew how many (trillions?) of our tax dollars are (what I consider) wasted on the wasteful, it would be time to volunteer for "Space-Settler" Program...which some would say, "What a waste--grin!

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  51. Oh my I LOVE this kind of stuff! What a hoot! I would rather pay for any kind of public art than for any kind of war...What can I say I am a 60's kind of woman:)

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  52. I like these too, but I hope they're laid out in a pattern that means something. (I can't quite tell from the photos)

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  53. A Jolly Green Giant Could only complete the scene!

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  54. something surreal in the landscape, I like it

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  55. I liked it till you said..."tax dollars"... That is CRAZY! Although I will tell my silly daughter as I can see her & friends running over to see it for themselves (we live in Indianapolis).

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  56. That's fantastic! Love the public art aspect... my guess would be the 109 has to do with Mr. Frantz' hybridization of the corn seeds. Probably that many hybrids or projects with Ohio State University. If I was in touch with my uncle, I would ask. He was Dean of Students there for many years.

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  57. Kinda' corny, but really upstanding. "Cornhenge" is a good title. Interesting pic and post, as usual.

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  58. Oh willow...I love this! I know that it seems like a crazy way to spend money but to me, it is graceful. Yes...graceful. There is a ballet in there somewhere. To be able to walk around them would be incredible. Maybe they will have to be on my bucket list. I've already been to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. and was amazed at that place. Lots of reasons to celebrate corn in the midwest I guess.

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  59. very nice! but are you sure it wasn't just a new public park and that some tax protesters decided gave them an earful about it?
    ;-)

    I like it.

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  60. Funny, as I was reading this post and thinking about the open space used to create this installation, I thought how cool it would be to have small public community garden plots in amongst the cornhenge monoliths ... a true homage to agriculture ... and then, I thought of the Field of Dreams quote - "If you build it, they will come."

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  61. Bizarre, never heard of this place before. Love the oddity of it, could picture a book or movie taking place there.

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  62. We live in a timber mill town just off a main highway. No one ever drives into town. We need a showstopper like this. Maybe 100 concrete giant gophers. I love stuff like this.

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  63. I went and I loved it...them! I would like them side by side at my house as my fence. It goes well with the giant picnic basket that is an office building in Newark Ohio.(Longaberger Basket)

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)