The Call of the Crane

The Call of the Crane
The sculpture installation crew, from left to right: Felix Sainz, Jr., Melanie Tallmadge Sainz (Ho-Chunk tribal member), Ron E. Lutz II, Rob Nurre, and Lightning New Rider (Ho-Chunk tribal member).

The next time you visit our site in Baraboo, Wisconsin, be sure to look for the beautiful new sculpture, “The Call of the Crane,” by designer and lead artist Melanie Tallmadge Sainz, studio assistant Damian Valiance Vasquez, and wood and metal fabricator Felix Sainz, Jr. The ceramic, metal and wood structure honors our Ho-Chunk neighbors and our shared commitment to protecting our planet. We are so grateful to our Emeritus Board Director, Heather Henson, for making this installation possible.

Artist Statement:

The Ho-Chunk and other Native peoples of the Great Lakes hold a special relationship with the Sandhill Cranes. This mixed-media piece depicts a story told by a Ho-Chunk elder that describes the crane’s migration and our shared connection to the natural world.

“In the spring, the cranes arrive home to Wisconsin, the homeland of the Ho-Chunk people. Upon their arrival, they call out, signifying that the people should get their seeds and soil prepared for the upcoming growing season. As the warm summer days turn to the colder season of fall, the cranes prepare for their migration south, and they call out again. They remind the people to gather their black ash baskets for the corn and squash harvest time.”

Mixed media: High-fire stoneware clay tiles, marine grade plywood, mild steel and exterior grout.