detour art is dedicated to the sheer joy of outsider, folk, visionary, self-taught, vernacular art and

environment discoveries found all along the back roads (and side streets) around the world.

(artists and sites added weekly … please stop back by often)

recent posts

  • Bottle Cactus Ranch – Elmer Long

    blog, folk art environment, road trip, West

    Even though Elmer's teeming forest of bottle trees stands alongside one of those desolate stretches of old Route 66 between Barstow and San Bernadino, he says it doesn't have much to do with the famous roadway.

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  • Melrose Plantation — home to outsider artist Clementine Hunter

    blog, folk art environment, folk artist, South

    Along the Cane River, south of Natchitoches, LA, sits the Melrose Plantation, home of folk art legend, Clementine Hunter. But it’s history is extends far beyond the boundaries of art.

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  • Underground Gardens – Baldasare Forestiere

    blog, folk art environment, road trip, West

    The genius of this place is in its adaptation to the terrain. The story began back in 1905, when Forestiere Baldasare, a Sicilian immigrant, had come westward in the early 1900s with dreams of farming success.

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  • Grotto of the Redemption

    blog, folk art environment, folk artist, Midwest

    Talk about the power of crystals! Rising out of the small town of West Bend, a part of Iowa where the landscape is seldom disturbed by anything larger than a grain silo, lies the Grotto of the Redemption.

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  • “Missionary” Mary Proctor

    blog, folk art environment, folk artist, South

    In the mid-90s she had been running a junk and odds and ends store in rural north Florida when she suddenly turned to making art.

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  • AVAM (American Visionary Art Museum)

    blog, exhibit, Northeast, road trip

    When you see one of Vollis Simpson's whirligigs adorning the front lawn of a museum, you know it's no ordinary place. This is indeed the mecca for those who appreciate work by self-taught, outsider or visionary artists.

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  • Desert View Tower and Boulder Park Caves

    blog, folk art environment, road trip, West

    In 1920, when Bert Vaughn started work on his Desert View Tower, people motoring across the mountains that jut up out here near the Mexican border inevitably needed a place to stop and cool down.

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  • Carhenge

    blog, folk art environment, Midwest, road trip

    Carhenge is perfectly suited to the great wide open. James Reinders carefully laid it out to echo the real 'Henge, right down to the capstones that bring in the summer solstice.

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  • The Land of Pasaquan – Eddie Owens Martin (St EOM)

    blog, folk art environment, road trip, South

    Eddie Owens Martin led what was perhaps one of the strangest lives we've come across on our journeys. In the 1930s, after years of living on the streets of New York, he came down with a severe case of pneumonia.

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  • Miles Mahan’s Hula Ville

    blog, folk art environment, road trip, West

    Despite being a California State Landmark, this folk art environment was dismantled. Luckily, some of the pieces were saved and can be seen in the California Route 66 Museum: "Hula Ville - Twentieth Century Folk Art".

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  • Porter Sculpture Park – Wayne Porter

    blog, folk art environment, folk artist, Midwest, road trip

    This jaw-dropping sculpture park is located on the the South Dakota Drift Prairie, with more than fifty industrial art sculptures. All created by Wayne Porter with scrap metal, old farm equipment, or railroad tie plates.

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  • Shrine of the Black Madonna

    blog, folk art environment, Midwest, road trip

    This gorgeous garden of grottos was built to honor Our Lady of Czestochowa, who came to be known as the Black Madonna because of the way she appeared in early paintings. Brother Bronislaus Luszcz literally did all the building here, using rocks, broken glass, and castoff jewelry to add to the splendor. In one of the most fitting of conclusions, the good brother passed away on the grounds while hard at work on one last sculpture.

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  • Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project

    blog, Midwest, road trip

    Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project is still the best known, thanks to the millions of polka dots with which he's blanketed his neighborhood. Trees, houses, streets and sidewalks all dotted up in a downtrodden part of town he's determined to help heal through the power of art.

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  • Leonard Knight of Salvation Mountain passes away at 82

    blog, folk art environment, folk art news, folk artist, obituary, West

    Oh, my heart is broken at the news of Leonard's passing. Bottom line is this, Leonard wants everybody to know that "God is love." I say Leonard was love. Some people would say it in church or a book, write it in letters or a song, maybe even paint it in a picture. Leonard built a mountain in the desert.

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  • Binford “Benny” Carter — 1943-2014

    blog, folk art environment, folk art news, folk artist, obituary, South

    Benny Carter was a folk art force to be reckoned with. I will always think of him as this big, burly man with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Benny built for birds since the late 80s and his bird houses were anything but conventional. Colorful, eclectic, and judging by the nests we saw, even functional.

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  • Hartman Rock Garden

    blog, folk art environment, Northeast, road trip

    Hartman Historical Rock Garden 1905 Russell Avenue at McCain Springfield, OH http://www.hartmanrockgarden.org Environment with rocks Recently restored by the Kohler...

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