Prairie Song

Share This Page
Art Type
Media / Materials
Year Completed
Funded by the Art in State Buildings Program
Latitude & Longitude
41.589541, -93.59945
Location Description
East 13th Street and Court Avenue, Des Moines

“Prairie Song” consists of five 20-foot tall blades of prairie grass, made from stainless steel. Each“leaf” encases a corrugated steel tube filled with steel balls that rattle in the wind. The artist team calibrated the poles’ hinges to sway in a heavy gust of wind. Like seeds using the wind, these pods chime with the movement of the stalks. Each stalk is anticipated to be made out of stainless steel segments, joined with pivots, and narrowing in diameter as they ascend in height up to 20-feet. The sound they make will be subtle and localized, like the sound of wind over grasslands. The installation is in conjunction with the eco- friendly building for the Iowa Utilities Board and the attorney general’s Office of Consumer Advocate, near the State Capitol. It will remind people of the new wind turbine that will power the building from its spot just down the hill. The sculpture was funded by the Art in State Buildings Program, which requires a percentage of each new building fund to be spent on site- specific artwork.

California artists Jennifer Madden (center) and Jeffrey Reed (right), with David Aippersbach (left).
California artists Jennifer Madden (center) and Jeffrey Reed (right), with David Aippersbach (left).

Find other public artwork: State Capitol Grounds

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

Send this to friend