Red Road Home

2009 Art on the River Sculpture

Skip Willits - Camanche, Iowa

Artist's Statement: During the Apache medicine wheel ceremony the shaman chants to the north, east, west and south, and to the good red road home. I created this sculpture with that chant in my mind. The outlines relate directly to the first phases of the new spring moon. I watch the moon rise up over the river as it fattens. The thin sliver right at the beginning is most beautiful to me. For me, these moon phases are related both visually and conceptually to life cycles. My art contains the strands of my identity. The objects that I produce arise out of my experiences and explain my life.

Jurists' Comments:
"I have chosen this three part rusted steel sculpture because it seems to evoke Dubuque’s boating and exploring past. These elegant canoe shaped pieces are vertical and appear to be balancing on one another as if waiting on shore to be launched for a river journey."

"The canoe-like forms can also be seen as pods that carry us across the surface of water. This mix of vessel, seed, and conveyance appeals to a sense of history and a deeper narrative. This sculpture will enlighten those that care to learn the whole story. I felt the deeper context when I viewed the image and was pleased to confirm my interpretation upon investigation. I hope you share that experience."
Red Road Home