Detour Art creative discoveries along the backroads

Grotto of the Redemption

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

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)

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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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