Members of artist Ray Paseka’s team, left to right, Phil Meyer, Steve Harris and John Statkus, begin installation of Mendota’s silo art project at Northern Partners Cooperative on Aug. 4. Paseka plans to continue the installation process next weekend during the Sweet Corn Festival. (Photo contributed)
MENDOTA - “Mendota Gold” is on its way to being the tallest ear of corn anywhere around. On Aug. 4, artist Ray Paseka and his team anchored the first rows of 4 x 10-foot, hand-painted aluminum panels to the southern silo at the Northern Partners Cooperative in downtown Mendota.
The remaining two-dozen panels are scheduled to go up during the Sweet Corn Festival this weekend. When completed, the finished ear of corn will rise 80 feet in the air and be 20-feet wide.
Mendota Mayor David Boelk believes the project will have a positive impact on the community. “The installation is yet another way we can enhance Mendota for residents and spur tourism simultaneously,” he commented.
The city commissioned the mural in partnership with the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce. For Mendota City Clerk and Economic Development Director Emily McConville, having a giant ear of corn as the subject matter just made sense. “It showcases that corn and agri-business are a substantial part of Mendota’s rich history, its bustling present, and its very bright future,” she said.
The Mendota mural also has the distinction of being the first work of art installed on a silo for the North Central Illinois ARTworks’ Silo Pathways Countryside Public Art Tour.