Representational crop art by Stan Herd
Representational crop art by Stan Herd. American Crop artist Stan Herd was born into a family of a Kansas farmer. He graduated from Wichita State University. He is famous for his representational crop art – a method of creating images of people, landscapes and brands by digging, disking, plowing and otherwise manipulating acres of green space. Stan Herd is the preeminent representational earthworks artist in the world. Herd’s beautiful earthworks projects have been created around the world, including England, Cuba, Australia and the United States.
The Xiphactinus Maze was created to represent the 15-20 foot long predatory bony fish that would have lived in the Western Interior Sea (i.e. Kansas) 3 million years ago
‘The Harvest’ was influenced by the still life of Cezanne. The image was created near Lincoln, Nebraska to coincide with the Farm Aid Concert in 1987. It was planted with wheat, corn, and field grains.
The beautiful earthwork which Stan produced in 2005 of the Kansas quarter. The Kansas state animal, the American buffalo (bison), and flower, the sunflower, is highlighted as symbols of Kansas. (Photo by Jon Blumb)
The ‘Ottawa Cola Wars’ was a pop art image sculpted from soybean plants and dressed with close to nine hundred color-bedecked participants. (Circa 1997, Ottawa, Kansas.) Photo by Daniel Dancer
The 160-acre Will Rogers portrait became a lesson in forbearance. An intense summer drought muted the image and curtailed the efforts to plant grain crops for a more colorful portrait. Photo by Peter B. Kaplan.
‘Absolut Landmark’. Stan was one of the selected artists for the highly successful ‘Absolut Artist’ series. ‘Absolut Landmark’ ran in Rolling Stone, Esquire, Interview and Art Forum magazine. Photo by Jon Blumb.
The ‘Saginaw Grant Portrait’ was created to bring attention to issues of importance to Indian activists seeking redress from the loss of tribal sovereignty and poverty on many reservations. The portrait was inspired after seeing Saginaw Grant dance at the Haskell University Spring Pow Wow. The earthwork was created on thirty-acres from wheat stubble on a farm north of Lawrence, KS in 1988 using a mower, a disc, and a two-bladed tractor ‘like different pencils’ to give the image its complexity. Photo by Jon Blumb
This one-acre landscape mural of Amelia Earhart was created to celebrate her 100th birthday on July 24, 1997, in Atchison, Kansas. This earthwork is a permanent piece composed of plantings, stone, and other native materials. Photo by Jon Blumb
‘Little Girl in the Wind’ was a four-acre earthwork created near Salina, Kansas and Stan’s first attempt at creating an earthwork without plowing the ground. Instead, the ground was burned, mowed and hand planted with native plants. The portrait is of subject, Carole Cadue, a Kansas Kickapoo woman and the first in a planned series of portraits of indigenous women in their homelands.
Aldo Leopold. In collaboration with the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., to help promote the Summer Prairie Festival in 1998, Stan created a portrait of America’s great conservationist, Aldo Leopold. Leopold was an environmentalist whose early insight led to the concept of using ‘nature as measure’ – of letting the prairie set the standard for an effort to make agriculture mimic the native prairie – a natural system agriculture. The portrait was created in a meek and drought-ridden stand of alfalfa near an overlook on the edge of the farmstead. Eugene Friesen, cellist with the Paul Winter Consort serenaded the gathered crowd with a ‘grasslands’ musical’ offering an accompaniment of readings by Leopold’s children of their father’s writing.
Photo by Jon Blumb
Earthwork, award-winning film at more than 50 film festivals in the United States alone and filmed on location in Lawrence and New York City, tells the true story of Herd’s transformation of a large, trash-strewn, barren lot near a graffiti-laced underground railway tunnel inhabited with the homeless into his work entitled Countryside.