Patriotic Rock Art
Every year, for the last five years, a talented artist, Ray (Bubba) Sorensen II, has done a Memorial Day tribute to our servicemen and servicewomen, both past and present, with a stirring tableau painted on a large granite boulder which stands next to Highway 25. The huge granite boulder came out of the nearby Schillberg Rock Quarry and it weighs approx. 56 ton (50.8Mg) and is 12 ft (3.7m) high.
For years this boulder was known as “the graffiti rock” and was decorated for high school rivalries, love interests, etc. Since the Memorial Day paintings began, the “rock” has remained with the annual tribute intact.
When Sorensen was 19, he saw ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and he felt that patriotism was at an all time low and was not being taught in our schools and this motivated him to paint the rock. People were always driving by to see what was painted on the rock. Sometimes there were bad things and other times is was good. He knew if he painted the rock a lot of people would see it.
Sorensen paints over the previous years mural with white paint and starts with a black canvas. He draws a sketch of his idea on paper and then draws the design by free hand onto the rock. This takes him anywhere from one to three weeks to paint. He gets his ideas from books, movies, previous artwork and images by other artists.
If you are anywhere close, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see what is truly an American treasure.
Article Sources : Internet Adair County Tourism Adair Co. Extension office (branch of Iowa State University}
The Patrotic Rock is located 12 miles north of Greenfield, Iowa, and one mile south of Interstate 80 on Highway 25 at the entrance of the Jefferson Rock Quarry. Each year before Memorial Day, Ray “Bubba” Sorensen paints the 12-foot-tall rock out of respect to veterans. He began this tribute in 1999 and his work has drawn attention from tourists, soldiers, and veterans across the country; the Iowa National Guard; and Internet users across the globe.
To see more of his artwork visit his website.