Haymarket Rabbits

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.

Haymarket Rabbits, Silicon bronze, Sculpture 1: 92" x 72" x 22"; Sculpture 2: 92" x 70" x 21"; Sculpture 3: 92" x 70" x 21", 2007

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Debbie Masuoka earned her BFA from Wayne State University and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Masuoka is most recognized for her large-scale "Rabbit Head" sculptures, which are painted in stone-like colors such as cobalt blue, green, rust, burnt orange and yellow. These sculptures can weigh as much as 1200 pounds and are over seven feet in height.

These deceptively simple rabbit heads were commissioned by the Iowa West Foundation as part of the Council Bluffs Public Art Master Plan, and are set in median flower beds located on Main Street and Pearl Street in the historic Haymarket District of downtown Council Bluffs, IA.

The artist explains:

     I have used the rabbit image or more specifically the rabbit head to explore complex human emotions. By simplifying the rabbit image to just its head, I am able to explore the maximum amount of meanings within a minimum amount of information given to the viewer. The head alone merely suggests to the viewer that there is something more than what is visible.
     The large scale of each sculpture creates an ironic twist, by taking a typical prey animal (rabbit) and transforming it into the predator. The rabbit then becomes the intimidator, which opens up the opportunity to explore preconceived ideas of what certain images represent.
     Once explored, the sculptures embrace deeper issues such as vulnerability, security, intimidation and protection.

Deborah Masuoka Website

This page was first displayed
on November 15, 2016

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