Across the Grain
location: Corner of Harper & Church Street, downtown Lenoir, North Carolina
dimensions: 26' × 26' × 3'
materials: Earthcasting (reinforced concrete with iron oxide cast in molds dug from the earth), steel
Across the Grain (2012) is a sculpture by American artist Thomas Sayre. Commissioned by the Caldwell Arts Council and sited in a park in the heart of the town of Lenoir, North Carolina, the large earthcast concrete circular form with jagged, toothy edges rises 26 feet above the ground. Referencing the water wheels, saw mills, and furniture factories that historically provided an economic basis for the town’s stability, the sculpture exudes optimism for future public endeavors, including the county's large collection of public art.