The cool “mapvertising” concept of a corn maze is now being applied to memorializing the Deadliest Catch Captain Phil Harris, who died earlier this year. The Rutledge Corn Maze in Tumwater, Washington, has declared that their theme this year will Captain Harris, and the aerial photos show that the maze has been shaped as a sort of portrait of him, and includes the name of his crab boat, the “Cornelia Marie”.
I’ve written previously about cornfield mazes and how some companies are using them for advertising. While it’s not unusual for companies to also memorialize people, I think this is probably the first time a corn field maze has simultaneously been a memorial remembrance.
The Rutledge Corn Maze website doesn’t state that proceeds will go to Harris’s family or to a charity on his behalf, but their website does tout the coffee bearing his name.
Cornfield mazes are a type of “crop art”, which is also a subset of “earth art” along with geoglyphs and other images which may only be seen from the air. I believe that cornfield mazes, crop art, roof ads and other aerial messages could be on the increase as individuals have greater access to viewing them via online mapping systems and satellite imagery.