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Primordial Shift: The Art of Michael Meilahn

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The South Dakota Art Museum invites you to experience "Primordial Shift: The Art of Michael Meilahn" a captivating exhibition of numerous large-scale works by the renowned glass artist, Michael "Mick" Meilahn. The monumental title installation features 32 hand-blown glass ears of corn, each around four to six feet tall, which are suspended from the Museum’s ceiling on cast bronze and blown glass stalks. The ears of corn and are illuminated by a video and audio projection of the artist’s family farm. 

An artist and farmer, Meilahn learned glassmaking as a university student in Wisconsin in the 1970s and subsequently participated in the wave that became the American Studio Glass Movement. Through his work, Meilahn crafts a visual dialogue about the genetic modification of corn that invites reflection on humanity's evolving relationship with nature and the intricate interplay of science, agriculture and art.  

Produced by David J. Wagner, Ph.D.

Stay tuned for more about this exhibition and related educational events.


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Sponsors and Credits

This exhibition and corresponding programs are possible through the generosity of these sponsors:

Bill and Rita Larson Endowment for Education Excellence, Fantle Endowment

Alan Baker and Joan Hegerfeld-Baker, Marcia and David Chicoine, Gail and Larry Tidemann

As a unit of South Dakota State University, South Dakota Art Museum receives significant operational support from the university. Additional support is provided by the South Dakota Arts Council (with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts) and museum members and donors.