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The Corn Palace and DWU to collaborate on mural design

Friday, September 29, 2017

The World’s Only Corn Palace is proud to announce it will collaborate with Dakota Wesleyan University and its digital media and design department to create the 2019 murals for the World’s Only Corn Palace. 

“We are excited to partner with DWU in regards to the murals, as I believe this will bring a great deal of togetherness for our community,” said Scott Schmidt, director of the World’s Only Corn Palace. “This is a great opportunity, not only for us to share in our community icon with DWU, but a wonderful opportunity for these students to build their portfolio and buy into our community.”

Dakota Wesleyan has a rather long history with the famous Corn Palace murals. Oscar Howe, who was an artist-in-residence at DWU in 1948, while also working on his college degree, designed the Corn Palace murals from 1948 to 1971. Howe, who was a Yanktonai Sioux born on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, graduated from DWU in 1952 and became Artist Laureate of South Dakota. Many of his paintings hang on campus in the Dakota Discovery Museum and one of his murals still adorns the ceiling of the Carnegie Resource Center on Third Avenue while there is also an Oscar Howe Art Gallery on the second floor of the Corn Palace.  Later, Cherie Ramsdell, a local artist and former art professor at DWU, took up the mantle and has designed the murals since 2003. From South Dakota seasons to celebrating rodeo and musical performances in Mitchell, Ramsdell designed murals that echoed the community’s greatest events as well as everyday life.

This is the first year that a DWU class has been requested to take on the project but Kyle Herges, associate professor of digital media and design at DWU, saw it as an opportunity for his students to gain real-world experience for a project that is truly unique.

“Partnering with the Corn Palace is an exciting opportunity for the digital media and design program and the community, as well as the students involved,” Herges said. “We are empowering DWU students to think beyond their traditional perspective of art and design. Our students are consistently encouraged to creatively solve problems, collaborate with others, and express themselves in new ways. This project will truly be a transformative and hands-on learning experience for everyone involved. The students are excited for the opportunity to showcase their creativity locally, under the lights of the World’s Only Corn Palace.”

The Corn Palace Events and Entertainment Board will announce the 2019 Mural Theme in conjunction with an honorary special guest at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the World’s Only Corn Palace. 

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