Stan Herd was always passionate about art but could not decide on the medium to express it. Once, while traveling by air, he looked out of the plane’s window and saw acres and acres of crop fields. It was his eureka moment and he decided to make the earth his canvas! Today, this American crop artist turns vast fields into artworks.
Herd is no stranger to farms, as he grew up on his family’s farm in Protection, Kansas in the USA. But the artist in him prompted him to leave his agrarian lifestyle in pursuit of art. Little did he know that the farm fields will once again lure him back and become his art medium.
During his art career of over forty years, Herd has been creating crop art at a steady pace. These include two separate portraits, one of Kiowa Indian Chief, Satanta, and the other of Will Rogers, on separate 160-acre plots; an installation titled ‘Countryside’ that depicts a pastoral Kansas landscape on an acre of plot owned by Donald Trump; ‘Rosa Blanca’, an image of a white rose, honoring the 19th Century Cuban poet, José Marti; and many more.
However, the icing on the cake of Stan Herd crop art remains Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Olive Trees’ that Herd produced on a 1.2-acre field in Eagan in Minnesota, USA. This earthwork used native plants, gourds, oats, and other natural products and was commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Today, Stan Herd’s field art numbers are over 35.
Stan Herd murals are more than mere art, as he explains on modernfarmer.com, “I’ve gravitated to the idea that the earthworks need to be more than just something to look at…that the background story of mankind’s relationship to the earth, in agriculture, and in the stewardship of pristine nature, is what the act of creating the work is about.”
Today, Herd has become more experimental in his choices of the plant material he uses and has become choosier too, as he shares on modernfarmer.com, “At 65, I only have a limited amount of time to create these massive works. I’m reminded that I need to choose my work carefully.”