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Mysterious Portland Hay Ball Draws a Crowd

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So what in the world is that weird hay ball on top of that car that was parked in Monument Square right outside of the Townsquare Media studios on Tuesday at lunchtime?

This was the question that many people were asking as they walked by this parked car, stopped, pondered and went on their way. After we posted this photo on our Facebook and Twitter pages, the responses ran the gamut from a giant meatball to a hemp cargo carrier. One person joked it could be “Pharrell’s next big hat.” Another Facebook follower quipped, “Lady Gaga is at it again lol.”

But believe it or not, we now know exactly what this hay ball is all about and the person who created it…

Robin Grethe shared an article published by Maine Arts Scene magazine in July 2012 that states the hay ball was created by artist Michael Shaughnessy, a professor at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

According to the article, Shaughnessy created the hay ball and drove it cross country as part of a project titled, “Wonderment: The Hay Ball’s Journey Across America.” Shaughnessy even created a Kickstarter page to support the journey.

Long after the hay ball completed its trek across the U.S., several Portland area residents noted on Facebook today they frequently see the hay ball in different communities. When Shaughnessy created the hay ball project, his goal was to make people stop and wonder what this piece of art is wherever it happens to be. Based on the public’s reaction today in Monument Square, it continues to do just that.

What do you think about the hay ball? Share your comments here on our web site and on our Fac

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