Backyard Visionaries

Backyard Visionaries

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On the front page of the New York Times Book Review, artist Red Grooms once exclaimed that grassroots artists qare so interesting I can scarcely keep them out of my dreamsa€”visionaries who turned their visions into art on a grand scale even though they had no training in art.q In this lavishly illustrated volume, the authors illuminate and celebrate these qbackyard visionariesq and the remarkable works they've created in the Midwest. Grassroots art (sometimes referred to as qoutsider artq) has been variously described as qeccentric, q qunschooled, q qself-taught, q qprimitive, q and qraw.q Such art is characterized by the use of common, unconventional, or castoff materials; hodge-podge styles; ambitious scale; whimsical expression; and a creative impulse concerned more with the artist's own pleasure than with the critical reception of the work itself. The authors here focus on examples of grassroots art environmentsa€”which include sculptures, paintings, and assemblagesa€”in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma. They reveal the special character and unexpected delights of works like Samuel P. Dinsmoor's world-famous qGarden of Edenq; Claude Melton's quirky qNativity Rock Museumq; Ed Galloway's fabulous six-story qTotem Poleq honoring Native Americans; and Dave Woods's idiosyncratic creations refashioned from qjunk that most people would haul to the dump.q Written by members of the Kansas Grassroots Art Association-the oldest organization in the country dedicated to preserving such sitesa€”Backyard Visionaries describes the authors' personal experiences of the artists and their work as well as the artists' cultural contexts and influences. More than 150 photographsa€”many in colora€”capture their unusual creations, and a chapter on preservation tells how we can help maintain them. All in all, this is a fascinating tribute to a group of artists that we are only just beginning to understand and appreciate.Jericho are constructed of paper sewing-machine bobbins, stacked and glued. ... company as a aquot;combination man, aquot; doing troubleshooting, repair, and other maintenance work: aquot;I worked for United Telephone, all over the country. ... For most of his thirty-eight years with the telephone company he worked with his brother.

Title:Backyard Visionaries
Author: Barbara Brackman, Cathy Dwigans
Publisher: - 1999

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