Kansas Grassroot, Outsider & Folk Art

Kansas Art Museums

Kansas is a national leader in grassroots or self taught folk art. From the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas, Kansas to displays in artists' yards across the state, there are dozens of opportunities to enjoy grassroots art and meet the artists.
Augusta, Kansas - Henry's Sculpture Hill includes a gallery and over 30 outdoor sculptures created by Franklin L. Jensen, primarily made from steel and/or found objects.

Tours are closed indefinitely, but many of the sculptures may be viewed from the adjoining roads.

Henry's culpture Hill
Belleville, Kansas - The Paul Boyer Museum
Of Animated Carvings is open May through September from Wednesday through Saturday 1:00PM - 5:00PM, other days and times by appointments.

The animated miniature creations of Paul Boyer are spectacular. The piece at right is on display at the Grassroots Art Center.

Grassroots art at the Boyer Gallery
DeSoto, Kansas - Grandpa's Garage and Body Shop is a 1918 Model T Garage where Dean Weller turns old automobile parts and sheet of metal into works of art. Dean retired 28 years ago and he has been creating nearly a vehicle a year, including some of the most beautiful cars that I have ever seen.

Visiting the garage is limited to Tuesday mornings (it interrupts his work), but you are welcome to drive by and view the lovely old garage with its classic 1930s Ford signs, and look in the windows at his automotive creations. The most recent is a hand built replica 1912 Mercer Raceabout.

America's Sweetheart Model A by Dean Weller
Erie, Kansas - The wonderful metal sculptures of  Dinosaur Not So National Park are located on a farm just a few miles southwest of Erie, Kansas. Created entirely by retired Air Force engineer, Robert Dorris.

Open during daylight hours.

Folk art at Dinosaur Not So National Park
Great Bend, Kansas - Bob Mix is one of the artists featured at the Grass Roots Art Center. He welds creatures and vehicles from scrap and junk metal. Call ahead and Bob & his wife Beverly will take you on a tour of their yard where you will see wacky vehicles, the skeletons of a saber tooth tiger, animals & primitive fish, and other creations. The art is impressive, but the real highlight was Bob & Bev and their stories. 

Open by appointment.

Bob Mix grassoots art
Hays, Kansas - The Stone Gallery in Hays, Kansas is the fascinating two story gallery and studio of Pete Felten. Felten is a self taught artist who sculpts, makes pottery, paints, takes photographs, and works in other media.

Two of the most interesting current projects are a bathroom that he is decorating with tile, and a fence on the edge of the property that he has been working on for years. Pete is interesting as well as creative.

 

Stone Gallery - Hays, Kansas
Howard, Kansas - The welded metal sculptures of Hubble's Rubble (AKA Hubble Rubble People) fill an empty lot along Kansas Highway 99 in Howard, Kansas. The sculptures were created by Jerry Hubbell, a realtor and rancher. The welded metal sculptures of Hubble's Rubble include odd vehicles, animals and cartoon characters.

Open any time.

Hubble's Rubble
Humboldt, Kansas - The Lewis R Howland Collection at the Humboldt Historical Museum has hundreds of scale models of horse drawn carriages and circus wagons built by the late Lewis R. Howland.

Open weekends Memorial Day through the 2nd weekend in October. Rest of year open by appointment.   free

Lewis R Howland Collection at the Humboldt Historical Museum
Kingman, Kansas - Glenn Stark has been creating art for over 60 years. His yard and home are filled with beautiful and humorous sculptures in wood and concrete. Meeting Glenn and his wife, Mary, is a real treat.

Drive by, or tour Glenn's art by appointment.

Glenn Stark art - Kingman, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas - Art Tougeau in Lawrence, Kansas is an annual wheeled art parade and wheel-apalooza. It takes place in mid May on the weekend of graduation at the University of Kansas.

Art Tougeau is a lot of fun - a grassroots art festival on wheels. I've already placed it on my calendar for 2010. 

Lawrence, Kansas - The Lawrence home of Cindy and Nick Schmiedler has been turned into a grassroots environment. The various interesting mobiles, statues and unusual fence shown here can all be seen from the street and sidewalk, without entering the Schmiedler's yard.
Lincoln, Kansas - The Michael Steven Gallery is one of the newest offerings in Lincoln, a community that is rapidly becoming an art and history destination. The gallery occupies a portion of the Village Lines shop and shares the same hours.

Michael is creating wonderful functional art from laminated wood. He has a degree in visual communication from the Art Institute of Houston and has worked as a commercial artist, but his work has a whimsical sense and energy which reminds me of grassroots art.

The Michael Steven Gallery - Lincoln, Kansas
Lincoln County, Kansas - J. R. Dickerman's fabulous Creature Creations form an "Open Range Zoo" along Highway 18. The best half of the creatures are all in the first few miles from the eastern county line.

Open any time.

Lincoln, Kansas - Soaring Heart Gallery is the home and studio of J. R. Dickerman, who has lined the highways of Lincoln County with an Open Range Zoo (see Lincoln County, below) made up of his "Creature Creations." 

The studio is filled with more creatures, masks and costumes. Many of these smaller creations are made from bone, animal skulls, and feathers. Crazy, wonderful stuff that deserves a wider audience. 

Soaring Heart Gallery - Lincoln, KS
Lucas, Kansas - The Garden of Eden is probably the most famous local art in Kansas. Created from limestone and cement by S. P. Dinsmoor, a retired schoolteacher and Civil War veteran who moved to Lucas, Kansas in 1891. Built over 25 years, there are a limestone log cabin,  150 figures and other forms, from insects to 40 feet tall trees. 
Lucas, Kansas - The governor declared that Lucas is the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas. The Grassroots Art Center in Lucas, promotes self taught artists from around the state of Kansas, with an emphasis on the folk artists who did most of their work in Lucas. The Center occupies three late 18th Century buildings downtown Lucas.

Open year around, admission $5.50 for adults.

Grassroots Art Center
Lucas, Kansas - Florence Deeble grew up watching S.P. Dinsmoor was construct the Garden of Eden and was inspired as an adult to build her own concrete postcards around her home. She began building Florence Deeble's Rock Garden using rocks brought back from her travels when she was 50 years old and continued nearly 50 years.

Open daily, admission included with the Grassroots Art Center.

Florence Deeble's Rock Garden
Lucas, Kansas - Florence Deeble's Rock Garden has been a Lucas, Kansas landmark for over 50 years, but since 2002, the Deeble house has been the home of an interior garden - the Garden of Isis by Mri-Pilar. a visual artist from Lawrence, Kansas. The Garden of Isis is 5 rooms of art made from doll bodies, toys, kitchen utensils and other recycled materials. Many of the items are available for purchase.

Open daily, admission included with the Grassroots Art Center.

Folk art in the Garden of Isis
Mullinville, Kansas - Kanza art is an unique collection of junk metal folk art, windmills and signs that line several of the streets of Mullinville along the arms of the "V" formed by US Highways 400 and 54 in southwest Kansas is the home of the Kanza Art Studio. There are hundreds of examples of junk metal folk art, windmills and sometimes disturbing political and local religious commentary.

Open anytime.

Kanza art - Mullinville, Kansas
Overland Park, Kansas - Todd Baker's Tiki Heads (Easter Island style sculptures) can be found on 79th Street just west of old downtown Overland Park.

Drive by, only.

Todd Baker Tiki Heads - Overland Park, Kansas
Scandia, Kansas - The wood carvings by Allen D. Larson are my favorite part of the Scandia Museum.

There are several works by Larson including "Wagon Train Attack" which has 8557 hand made pieces including 2500 Native Americans, 2640 cavalry, 82 trees & cactus and 200 head dress feathers.

Open Monday - Saturday afternoons, Memorial Day through Labor Day or by appointment. Free.

wood carvings by Allen D. Larson - Scandia, Kansas
St. Francis, Kansas - The welded metal sculptures created by the late Harvey Walz feature motion. A dozen or so windmills are on display in his former front yard.

Drive by, or shop at the fireworks display during the first few days of July.

Harvey Walz metal sculpture - St. Francis, Kansas
Topeka, Kansas - Truckhenge is an eclectic combination of farm, salvage & recycled art and nature sanctuary. It includes 5 antique trucks jutting out of the ground - remnicient of England's Stonehenge or Nebraska's Carhenge.

Open by appointment.

Truckhenge grassroots art

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