The Ewes Have It
Wed, Feb 24, 2010
The Virtual Pasture, the longterm, ever-evolving outdoor "agri/cultural" sheep-centric piece by Ohio State artist and art professor Michael Mercil, is turning heads. Located right outside the Wex on a small plot of land facing the Oval, the whimsical, thought-provoking project features three Shetland sheep that visit to graze on the first Monday of every month, with a 24-hour monitor uplinked to the farm where the sheep live the rest of the time (just north of Columbus at the Stratford Ecological Center). The Columbus Dispatch recently posted a short video (and, earlier in the year, a story); onCampus newspaper for Ohio State faculty and staff devoted its front page to it; Ohio State's Lantern ran this piece; bloggers have weighed in far and wide, including on this knitting blog; and WOSU.TV/PBS ran this segment from the Our Ohio program earlier this month (the show has been airing statewide as well). Word has it some national media has been on-site checking it out as well. By the way, two of the ewes are pregnant, and-for the May 3 visit-Michael and his team are hoping to bring the three sheep plus the lambs. It's an event that, according to the artist, may require a little tinkering with the white picket fence out there to ensure that those little lambs don't escape the pasture to the Oval and points beyond. Just say baa.