Detour Art creative discoveries along the backroads

Bottle Cactus Ranch – Elmer Long

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

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

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

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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