Man on a Bench

Public Art in Iowa

The State of Iowa has a rich art culture that includes many wonderful works of public art. These artworks may be commissioned by the state, by private organizations, or even by generous individuals, and can be found at airports, in hospitals, schools and universities, and even alongside highways! The Daily Palette is happy to feature these works created for the enrichment of our communities and the delight of our visitors.


DOUGLAS J. PAUL AND J. B. BARNHOUSE
Man on a Bench, Indiana limestone, 20' tall, 110 tons, 2015

Man on a Bench sits atop a hill overlooking Scott Boulevard in Iowa City, casting his serene gaze across the gently rolling landscape. The 110-ton limestone sculpture is one of several works of art located on Harvest Preserve, a private spiritual retreat "dedicated to restoring and maintaining native Iowa prairie and woodlands, preserving healthy aquaculture and cultivating public awareness, appreciation and participation." The artists who crafted Man on a Bench are clear that they did not intend it to be labeled a Buddha, preferring that the sculpture be open to each viewer's own interpretation. They explain, "The moment a viewer makes a connection with a sculpture, a personal story will emerge, and every story will be different . . . Man on a Bench allows you complete freedom to decide whether or not the piece means anything to you. We hope you will take a long, quiet breath and listen to the story you share with the stone."

This lovely photograph of Man on a Bench was taken by Iowa City photographer, David Weldon. Because the sculpture rests on private property, it took some ingenuity for Mr. Weldon to obtain such a splendid view. He shares: "That was a very muddy day and as there was no parking off the dirt road behind the statue I had to park at the crossroads then walk up Scott [Boulevard] to the site and climb the hill. [I] looked like something that crawled out of a WWI trench by the time I got back!" You can enjoy more of Mr. Weldon's photography on Flickr.

©David Weldon. All rights reserved.

Harvest Preserve Foundation website

This page was first displayed
on January 08, 2018

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