Especially if you first come across it at night when it’s illuminated from below by floodlights, Laramie’s giant head is impossible to miss.
And that’s just what it is: a great big, giant, towering — some say creepy — head that perpetually looks like it’s about to say something.
What the heck is up with that giant head?
It’s not a mistake and didn’t roll off a passing truck. It’s public art and has been looking west from the northeast corner of Clark Street and Snowy Range Road in West Laramie since 2021.
Titled “Exhaling Dissolution,” the head is 13.5 feet tall and made from cottonwood bark, steel rod and wire mesh. It was created by artist Sarah Deppe of Iowa in 2010 and has previously been on public display in Iowa and Tennessee.
Folks living in and traveling through Laramie will see it there until 2024, when it’s three-year run as part of the Snowy Range Rotating Sculpture Program ends.
Rotating public works of art at that intersection and another in Laramie, the city of Laramie sponsors the sculpture program, which is administered by the Laramie Public Art Coalition.
“Exhaling Dissolution,” as are all the program’s works, was chosen after a national call for artists to submit proposals.
What The Heck Does It Represent?
Deppe has said that the sculpture is a commentary of the huge levels of pollution humans gorge out into the environment.
“This work is a human head … representing humanity,” she says in a statement on the Laramie Public Art Coalition website. “Its mouth is open as if it were speaking or breathing or exhaling and engaging in conversation.”
She said the intention is to generate a buzz, “to initiate conversations about social issues such as the environment and giving a voice to nature. This work is about connecting with nature. The bark will eventually dissolve and return to the earth.”
No, It’s Not Biden
And despite the speculation of many around Laramie that the giant head with its mouth open represents — and resembles — President Joe Biden, the artist herself puts that rumor to bed, saying that it represents “no one in particular.”
Want to know what the heck something is in Wyoming? Ask Managing Editor Greg Johnson and he’ll try to find out. Send your “What the heck is …” questions to him, along with high-quality horizontal photos of whatever it is to Greg@CowboyStateDaily.com.