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Corn Palace mural designs for 2019 announced

An image of the famous photo of soldiers raising the American flag at Mount Suribachi in Japan at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II is among the 2019 Corn Palace mural designs, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)1 / 9
An image of a battleship is among the 2019 Corn Palace mural designs, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)2 / 9
A homage to Native American Code Talkers from World War I and World War II is among the 2019 murals at the Corn Palace, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)3 / 9
Fighter jets over Mount Rushmore is among the 2019 Corn Palace mural designs, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)4 / 9
An image of a submarine is among the 2019 Corn Palace mural designs, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)5 / 9
A soldier saluting a flag at half-staff is among the 2019 Corn Palace murals, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)6 / 9
Fighter jets are among the 2019 Corn Palace murals, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)7 / 9
A military helicopter is among the 2019 Corn Palace murals, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)8 / 9
An image of a soldier saluting is among the 2019 Corn Palace mural designs, which were unveiled Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)9 / 9

The Corn Palace unveiled Tuesday a military-themed set of murals that will be designed for the 2019 season at the Mitchell landmark.

It is the first year of a collaboration between the Corn Palace and the university’s digital media and design department to generate the designs, which will be made out of corn and grain and will be installed this summer and fall.

The designs include images of helicopters, Navy vessels, a submarine and military jets flying over Mount Rushmore. Another scene includes the famous photo of soldiers raising the American flag at Mount Suribachi in Japan at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, along with veterans saluting the flag.

The murals include a homage to the Native American Code Talkers in World War I and World War II, which included Lakota Native Americans from South Dakota who transmitted strategic military messages in their native language to keep them from the enemy.

“We are excited to see the first year of this partnership with DWU come to fruition in regards to the murals. So much pride was taken in each step of the process for these murals and I believe this was a great partnership for the city, Corn Palace and DWU,” said Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt.

Dakota Wesleyan’s history with the Corn Palace murals includes Oscar Howe — an artist-in-residence at DWU in 1948 — who 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. This is the first year that a DWU class has been requested to take on the project.

“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,” DWU Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design Kyle Herges said. “We are empowering DWU students to think beyond their traditional perspective of art and design. … The students are excited for the opportunity to showcase their creativity locally, under the lights of the World’s Only Corn Palace.”