Glenn Stark Art Environment - Kingman, Kansas
The best thing about building KansasTravel.org has been meeting people like Mary & Glenn Stark of Kingman, Kansas. Glenn makes sculptures in wood and concrete. I first saw his work on display at the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas, and had exchanged emails with his wife prior to my visit.
Glenn was 89 when these photos were taken in 2006. He still seemed quite fit, though his hearing was poor, but wasn't from age. That was from the guns of the USS Maryland in World War II. He was at Pearl Harbor.
Much like the other Grassroots artists I have visited, the couples are even more interesting than the folk art. The Starks showed me around their small house. Each room was filled with his art, both miniatures and life size figures. Most of them funny and many have stories. Their yard has many life size figures including Calamity Jane on horseback, a dinosaur, bears, giraffes, a bull rider, and many others.
It is easy to pull off US-54 and drive by the Stark home. Several car loads of people came by while I was taking these photos.
In 2011, Glenn fell and shattered his right hip socket. It was two months before he could return home and without the strength to wrestle tree trunks and haul cement sacks he lost the drive to do even smaller work. More recently he had another fall, breaking 3 ribs and he is is now confined to bed because his blood pressure is very low. He is not in pain, but he has lived a full life and will turn 97 in May of 2014.
You may be able to call ahead and make an appointment for Mary to show you around. Mary is Glenn's second wife and is much younger. Not only will you see the many smaller works that aren't displayed in the yard, but you will get to experience the Starks' humor and joy.
LS-4/14 copyright 2006-2014 by Keith Stokes