Ruminant (The Grand Masticator)
In October of 2013 Karl Unnasch installed his rural culturally themed sculptural installation titled RUMINANT (The Grand Masticator) in the cornfield of Ron and Judy Churchill of Reedsburg, Wisconsin as part of the Farm Art D'Tour's public art roadside tour. Eight artists/art teams were juried to participate in this annual public art event supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This sculpture was constructed from a repurposed 6600 John Deere combine harvester and was accoutered with 34 leaded stained glass panels. The panels were sealed in steel frameworks and were lit from behind with LED's. Treated like a temporary piece of architecture, this installation was constructed to withstand the natural elements as well as potential vandalism with the incorporation of a 1/4" acrylic storm layer covering all stained glass panels. The LED network was set on a timer to conserve energy during the daytime hours. Hearkening back to the Artist's rural Midwestern roots, the installation was a nostalgic tribute to many years of farm life influences with the use of stained glass as the chosen medium of visual language. The imagery used in the panels was a tribute to the harvest as seen through the eyes of those things that "chew". Among the imagery was that of a termite, a mustachioed face eating sweet corn, an assortment of chopping and cutting tools, even that of a child eating a crayon. The reception for this temporary installation was so positive that there was a public outcry to keep the installation in place for longer than the time allotted by the Farm Art D'Tour schedule. Currently, as of the date of this application, Reedsburg ArtsLink is the group raising funds to permanently acquire this installation to be permanently installed in the City of Reedsburg, Wisconsin. It will be located in a city park adjacent to the Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce.