Art harvest fills Edgerton corncribs

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Andrea Behling
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EDGERTON—For some people, it's hard to see what art has to do with agriculture.

That's one of the reasons the Friends of Silverwood Park have sponsored a new art installation, “Ten Variations on a Theme,” using decommissioned corncribs as 3-D canvases.

The installation weaves together art, history and culture to promote a sustainable agriculture classroom, said John Steines, the lead artist and curator.

The installation is part of an open house and harvest festival Saturday, Aug. 23, at Silverwood County Park. It features kids crafts, live music and farm and field tours at the park at 771 Silver Lane, off Highway 106.

The art installation was somewhat of a last-minute addition to the festival, but the best part is that it puts to use 10 third-generation corncribs on the west side of the farm complex, Steines said.

“There was some talk that if there's no use for them (the cribs), that they might come down,” he said.

The featured artists have expressed the sustainable agriculture classroom theme in different ways, Steines said. The weather-resistant designs are set to be finished this week.

“I think they've taken it on really well. Part of the process is spending time there,” he said.

One artist, Rebecca Power, is honoring significant women who have been caretakers of the land.

Arthur Durkee's exhibit, titled “Deep Time,” is designed to gradually break down and show the interplay with weather and natural change.

Art teacher Emily McCabe is working with Edgerton students on a crib that features a wire tree and photos of Silverwood County Park transferred to wood. It represents the constant growth of students and the beauty of the Earth and nature, McCabe wrote in an email.

“They're working very intensively to teach to community with their exhibits,” Steines said.

The 10th corncrib is a collection exhibit with the community as the artist. People can add anything they might find on a farm. A fox skeleton already has been donated, Steines said.

The exhibit will be on display for as long as possible, and Steines hopes Dane County will sustain it in the future.

Organizers also hope to offer an event in fall when the cribs can be illuminated.

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