Prairie Ship continues a series of studio work that integrates reclaimed agricultural salvage. In this piece, I am investigating immigrant farmer comparisons of the Midwest’s wide-open prairie to vast ocean waters. My sculpture weaves together reclaim from the prairie, to construct a ship of the sea. The composition of a folded paper boat acts as the framework for this playful nuance between the land and sea.
In his studio practice, Greg transforms selected and rescued agricultural and architectural salvage into thematically unified forms. Although seemingly disparate, both agrarian and sacred architecture are the springboards for his architectonic compositions. He states, “Barns and silos, like churches and mosques, act as cathedrals in the landscape. My materials and content stand in tangible reverence to the Corn Belt-Rust Belt region where I have spent most of my life. My intention is to harmonize the faded and worn into the semblance of a whole, using a direct process to compare and consider entities not usually placed together. The resulting compositions define space while reclaiming and celebrating the inherent, spiritual qualities of cast and reclaimed metal. Greg Mueller received his BS in Studio Art from St. John’s University, studied at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and worked as a foundry apprentice to Sculptor-in Residence, Paul Granlund at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. After receiving his MFA in Sculpture from the Montana State University School of Art he taught sculpture for 8 years at the Bowling Green State University School of Art in Ohio and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as a resident sculptor at Gustavus during the college’s Sesquicentennial.