Karl Unnasch -- Public Art, Stained Glass and Sculpture


Rustician (hunt and gather... seek and find)
A Stained Glass Tractor in Montevideo, Minnesota

Karl Unnasch Public Art, Stained Glass and Sculpture


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To view other works by Karl Unnasch, visit the Public Art page.

Or, go directly to the Project Index.


Web design courtesy of SQVIBL



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Special thanks go out to:


· Kristi Fernholz and the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission

· Mary and Patrick Moore

· MAP—Montevideo Arts Project

· Steve Jones and the City of Montevideo

· Southwest Minnesota Arts Council

· Aaron Blom

· Dallas Ross from the Upper Sioux Community (special thanks for pre-industrial food sources)

· Jianhua Qian

· Dana Conroy, Ben Dempcy, Patrick Moore and Pioneer Public Television

· Manahan Machine Shop

· Andy Heimdahl

· Sam Bruno

· Suzy Slater

· Sqvibl & Lil Boi

A Selection of Other Works:


(please scroll)

created by Karl Unnasch


for the City of Montevideo, Minnesota


Oct. 2017

Articles & Press:


Karl Unnasch, Pioneer Public Television’s Postcards, Season 9 Episode 2, Feb. 2018


Art Hounds: A stained-glass tractor in Montevideo, Andrew Nordin via Marianne Combs, MPR Art Hounds, Minnesota Public Radio News, May 3, 2018


One man’s art is a community’s treasure, Mike Milbrandt, Montevideo American-News, Oct. 12, 2017

The City of Montevideo, Minnesota is now home to a new work by Karl Unnasch: RUSTICIAN. This whimsical montage consists of a 1920s-era McCormick Deering tractor bedecked with original backlit stained glass in the Artist’s signature style.

The work pays homage to the local threads that have woven together over time to become the fabric of Montevideo, Minnesota today.


The tractor itself symbolic of the transition from the pre-industrial to the post-industrial era is accoutered with panels reflecting various aspects of local and regional history. A real-life folk tale emerges from the seek-and-find imagery in the glass: In dreamlike plays on scale, emblems from nature and agriculture blend together in prismatic whirls, chronicling everything from nostalgic pre-industrial bygones to more recent echoes from collective local memory. Images portraying the Spirit of Nature such as extreme wind, temperature, and moisture levels serve as a tribute to the Land Stewards’ many challenges throughout time. The discerning observer will also unearth local icons from spheres lateral to the rural theme: Having played key support roles in the region’s agricultural history, the worlds of banking and finance, education and knowledge, and religion are also all represented in the imagery, as is the cohesive notion of communal spirit.


The Farmer has always been a land-bridge between the urban and the natural worlds, and as such has also always been a traditional surveyor of knowledge. RUSTICIAN seeks to embody the stalwart beauty of this spirit. In reverence to both our hardy rural roots and the crucial sustenance that agriculture provides, this piece was installed in 2017. May it serve to honor the toil supporting the core of our societal existence and continue planting seeds of respect for many generations to come.












A Reflection of - and on - Local History:
Rustician Stained Glass Tractor in Montevideo, MN

Photo credit:  Kristi Fernholz

About RUSTICIAN from the

‘Karl Unnasch Art’ YouTube channel:

(please scroll)

This time-lapse video of the fabrication of one of the RUSTICIAN panels gives an idea of what it takes to put it all together:

Photo credit:  Kristi Fernholz



American Elm, Green Ash, Plains Cottonwood, Silver Maple

NON-TREE PLANTS (pre-industrial):

Yellow Water Lily (tiwapa), Arrowhead Plantain, Prairie Turnip (tipsina) braid, Cat Tail, Staghorn Sumac, Juneberry





Black Walnut, Bur Oak, Boxelder, Quaking Aspen

NON-TREE PLANTS (post-industrial):

Field Corn, Sugar Beet, Hops, Oats, Wheat





Lightning and storm cloud, floodwaters with tree and house, snowdrifts

ANIMALS: Draft Horse, Whitetail Fawn

OTHER: Dugout canoe (found by Ole Torgerson), 1880 schoolhouse turret, Almond Joy pie, Heddon River Runt fishing lure, Laq qui Parle mission bell tower, Soybean





Tornado and storm cloud, drought hills, prairie fire

ANIMALS: Lake Sturgeon, Canada Goose, Great White Pelican, Plains Buffalo

OTHER: José Artigas statue arm, Wild Squash, Laq qui Parle Dakota mission symbol, Chippewa County Bank turret




Vintage McCormick Deering manual cover graphic

                 (…with a hidden nod to its successor)




Our Sun     (…as seen on the day the panel was assembled)

Photo credit:  Kristi Fernholz


Public Art Network

Year in Review

Winner for 2017


- Americans for the Arts,

Washington, D.C.



“… cool old tractor in Montevideo,

a creative use of stained glass …”


— Cathy Wurzer,

                                MPR News Morning Edition



“This tractor truly is a piece of magic.


Karl […] mirrors the tractor

to the communal spirit

of Southwest Minnesota.”


— Andrew Nordin,

                     Artist and Art Educator





A Public Art Network Year in Review Winner for 2017


Americans for the Arts, Washington, D.C. 


                                    Press Release                            Database Entry