Detour Art creative discoveries along the backroads - page 4

Yard Show – Robert Howell

Yard Show – Robert Howell 1934 — 2004 Midlothian, Powhatan County, VA Whirligig environment Gone “After you buy it, you can call it whatever you want.” Robert Howell has fashioned a unique personal environment based on whirligigs of all shapes and sizes.  He builds them…

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Harold Bradley's "Tinkerings"

Harold Bradley’s “Tinkerings” Unknown West Fork, AR Sculptures, private property – visible from the street Harold is one of those guys who apparently can’t sit still. There’s no single big centerpiece at his place, just a couple dozen projects of one kind or another sprinkled…

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Fat babies, gentlemen, ladies and little biddies — Betty Sue Matthews

Betty Sue Matthews 1950- Brundidge, AL Paintings, unconventional material Completely self-taught, Betty Sue Matthews started drawing when she was three years old and has never stopped. Sometimes, raising children and financial issues forced her art to be put on hold, but she always returned to…

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Buryville – Windmill environment in Wyoming, with ties to Christo

Buryville – Mel Gould Artist dates unknown Cheyenne, WY Windmill environment Private property – visible from the street Mel has been called an artist, scientist, engineer and genius, although he considers himself a tinkerer and pack rat. We really couldn’t understand about two thirds of…

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Peacocks and rocks – Petersen Rock Gardens

Petersen Rock Gardens – Rasmus Petersen 1883 — 1952 Redmond, OR Environment with rocks Built: 1935 – 1952 Open to the public Castles and bridges, malachite and thundereggs, ponds and peacocks. This is one of the most underrated folk art environments in the United States….

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World Famous J. Jonny

World Famous J. Jonny Dates unknown Boca Raton, FL Sculpture (found object) “It really can’t be described. You just have to see it.” That sounded like a bit of a cop-out, but everybody including the artist himself kept coming back to that description of the,…

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Truckin' for Jesus – Robert Wells' weighty welded wonders

Robert Wells Dates unknown Grannis, AR Welded environment The word of God is spelled out alongside the road in some pretty amazing sculptures, all using giant links of chain. Big, heavy stuff that carries the Lord’s message “literally and for real,” as Wells says. There’s…

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“You almost have to be gifted to do what I’ve done” — Fred Smith

Wisconsin Concrete Park – Fred Smith 1886-1976 Phillips, WI Concrete environment Built: 1948 – 1964 Open to the public “It has to be in the man.  You almost have to be gifted to do what I’ve done” — Grassroots Art Center exhibit, Lucas Kansas “Nobody…

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From sandstone tombstones to internationally-acclaimed artist — Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley February 10, 1950 – Harpersville, AL Folk art environment, sculptures, and paintings When he created sandstone tombstones for his sister’s children after they died in a house fire, Lonnie Holley found an outlet for his profound grief.  Soon he began to build an…

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Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is a mosaic paradise

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle – Niki de Saint Phalle 1930–2002 Escondido, CA Mosaic environment She was well known in the field of contemporary art. Influenced by figures such as Jean Dubuffet and Antoni Gaudi, she made her reputation in the Sixties with a series of…

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