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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Scavenger Hunting the Grant Wood "Overalls All Over" Way


The Color Guide at the Cedar Rapids
Public Library

To honor Grant Wood’s 125th birthday, 25 American Gothic statues – sponsored by area businesses and painted by regional artists – have taken up residence in Cedar Rapids and surrounding Iowa towns.

Remain true in the
Amana Colonies
I like scavenger hunts and the challenge was too much to ignore. We headed toward Cedar Rapids and drove through the Amana Colonies on the way. The sight of a statue in front of the visitors’ center thrilled me. I couldn’t wait to get started.




Andy & Edie at the National
Czech & Slovak Museum
When we arrived in Cedar Rapids, we acquired a printed map of the trail. I studied it, planned my route and away we went. My husband drove and I navigated. After we found about six of the statues, it finally dawned on us to put the addresses into the GPS – nothing slow about us! Did that solve everything?

Bounty at The MedQuarter
Regional Medical District Park
It helped but we still ran into problems. The GPS took us to Coe College but the campus is big and the statue wasn’t that easy to find. We felt victorious when we did. The same thing happened at Mount Mercy University – where do we start? We finally had to ask someone for help, so again we felt great when we found that one. I have to admit I love that statue where the student artists turned the figures inside out – it’s not everyday we see kidneys, intestines, hearts and other organs. Each statue is named and this one is titled “Putting the Goth in Gothic.”

I’m sure Grant Wood would get more than a few laughs out of the artists’ renditions. Fitting the design to the sponsor and/or location required plenty of creativity and the artists pulled it off with flying colors. It took me a couple of statues before I began to realize the significance of the names. Like the art, each reflects the sponsor.

Back of Brucemore statue
If you do the trail, check the back of each statue. They are as well decorated as the front.  At Brucemore, I do believe I love the back of the statue more than the front. “The Lion Goes to the theater tonight” reflects Howard Hall’s (the third owner of the estate) love of his pet lions.
“Remain true” fits the land and culture of the Amana Colonies.

Putting the Goth in Gothic
at Mount Mercy
At one location, the gate was locked and we didn’t find the statue outside. In total, we visited 23 of the 25 sites, and took photos of 22 statues. What a fun way to spend a day or two. It’s great entertainment alone or with family and friends. I highly recommend it!

I admit it - I still want to go back and take pictures of the other three. I feel like it’s a project crying for completion.

The statues will remain in their current locations until the end of September. Check out http://croveralls.com for more information.


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