Painting the campus green: Art walk showcases new piece of hanging art

Bailey Freestone

David Faux, the University Museums’ Interpretation Specialist, led this month’s art walk on Oct. 29 which showcased the new piece of hanging art called “Floating World.”

Iowa State University has one of the nation’s largest collections of public works of art spread throughout campus. The newest piece of art is called “Floating World” and was created by Ralph Helmick. The artwork can be found in the Biorenewables complex, on the North West side of campus, which is also the newest building on Iowa State’s campus.

The artwork is made up of 14 laser cut, painted pieces of steel. According to Faux, the hanging artwork was highly inspired by the artist Grant Wood.

Every other steel piece is painted green and depicts a scene from a different time period in agriculture. The second green panel shows a single farmer plowing his land by hand and the third to last panel shows a more modern farm with modern machinery. The second-to-last green panel is of campus and shows a few of Iowa State’s well known buildings.

The art walk brought in about 20 people from the Ames community as well as other students in the Biorenewables building, all who were interested in learning the story behind this massive piece of artwork. During the art walk, Faux explained what each cut out on the pieces of steel specifically represented and portrayed. Faux also explained why this type of artwork was chosen for this specific complex and how it relates to Iowa State.

“This artwork shows ISU’s ongoing commitment to the ideals and principals of promoting land stewardship, conservation and innovation through science in searching for the solutions to a variety of energy, and other challenges in the future,” Faux said.

Overall, the art walk was informative and helped explain how Iowa and agriculture has changed and made an impact on our modern world.