I am crazy about this stuff called outsider art, visionary art, art brut, folk art or whatever you want to name it. I think it is a pure root art form, like a visual blues or jazz.

It’s the spirit of both the art and the artists that is so captivating. If you are lucky enough to venture off of the main highways of this country, you can encounter the most amazing folks and environments. People who create just because they have to. Not for recognition, or to satisfy a client, but because it is in them to create. Maybe they have retired and have some time on their hands, or maybe there has been a personal tragedy, or sometimes the Lord has spoken to them, or they had some left over paint, but whatever drives them to create is a pure as it gets.

I wish to honor all those creative souls, and help interested folks, like yourself, learn more about them. I have spent a lot of time researching artists as my collection of outsider art grows. When I discovered that Jane’s Addictions web site was offline, I realized that it is now my turn, and Jane generously entrusted her site to me.

The geek in me sees the need to make an easily accessible and updateable database, combining all of outsider art resources I can get my hands on, so that anyone who wants to learn more, can. And I am willing to put my money where my heart is, to bring this to life. Call me crazy, but I really do love this stuff.

If you find anything that is in error, have images to share, or stories to pass along, drop me a line. We strive to be as accurate as we can, and give credit where credit is due, but sometimes we need a little help from our friends.

Thanks.

Kelly Ludwig

How do we decide who/what to list?

Artists and sites are added to Detour Art as we discover them in other reference materials (books, magazines, websites, etc.), as we encounter them along the road, and in museum and gallery exhibits. If the person or site is in a published source about this genre, then they qualify to be on this site. References are included whenever possible.

We try to only include self-taught artists, sites, etc. and it is on the honor system that individual listings are added. This is not intended to be a “marketing” tool for contemporary folk artists wanting show advertising that will be frequently updated. The intent is to create an encyclopaedic resource tool.

We are not here to make judgements as to whether or not the quality as “true” outsiders, since the definitions are constantly being debated and shifted. You can decide for yourself.

Why don’t all of the listings have photos or bios?

We are creating this web site in “layers”. The first (and current) phase is researching and listing the very basics (name, locales, dates and genre). We constantly adding images and bios, so please visit often. We are updating the site quarterly.

If you would like to contribute information, images, etc. we are more than happy to have the help. You will receive credit and a link for each artist/site we use.

Here are some of the resources we have depended on to make our listings:

Jane’s Addictions

For those who that came to depend on the incredible website “Jane’s Addictions”, you will find most of it here. Jane has generously handed off her site’s contents for us to maintain.  Her standard of excellence is inspirational.

Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations

Many of the photos of sites and artists found here are courtesy of the Kansas City Public Television series “Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations.”  Call your local PBS station and ask them to run this series, they have documented many of the major outsider artists and sites, and have had a lot of fun doing it!  By the by, they are the catalyst behind this site  (Designing their books and web site opened a whole new world for my commercial-weary eyes.)

 NarrowLarry – Larry Harris

He is the King of “the very narrow guide to visionary art environments, modern architecture, and travel.”  Not only has he provided rare photos of many folk art environments for this site, he constantly on the search for new sites and artists.  He  also arranges many of the incredible and inspiring road trips for Orange Show’s Eye Opener Tours. (http://www.orangeshow.org/eyeopener.html)