Grand Canyon Project:
Day Twenty-One
Sunday May 28, 2000

Vrooom!

We have traveled 4958 miles.

Click on a picture to view it larger - Rick

Click here to view the big versions

This morning, we went to church with Kirsten. Afterward we were invited out for a steak dinner. However, we had to choose art over appetite (though it was a hard choice) and went in search of Lucas, Kansas and the home of Samuel P. Dinsmoor. Dinsmoor was an artist/huxter/social activist who surrounded his home with a vision of the Garden of Eden fashioned out of 20 tons of concrete. We learned several new concrete techniques from him, such as casting pillars using empty bottles.

Dinsmoor created the house and yard as a tourist trap. After he died, his body was placed in a glass and concrete coffin. He stipulated that no one could see it for less than a dollar. We saw it. Jane thought he cut a striking figure now, even 60 years after his death. Before our tour, we enjoyed lounging around Dinsmoor’s home.

Elaborate Cement Art
Cain & Able in Cement
Star Spangled Slab In the boudoir of Samuel P. Dinsmoor

From the Garden of Eden, we went to the Grassroots Arts Center down the street. The Center is devoted to artists who have no formal art training but create environments out of materials they’d found readily available. Did you know that Kansas has the third largest population of these “Grassroots” artists? They were our kind of people. One man had covered his home in tiles of concrete covered in broken glass. He made a similar house for his dog. Another man’s wife told him he could only paint in the basement, so he covered the walls and pipes and furniture with patterns again and again. One woman did large carvings from limestone, including a table commemorating John F. Kennedy. The Center was full of the work of artists like these, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Art Shrine
JFK Table
Example #22:  By numbing the cerebellum with ice or a cold beverage, the subject induces a state of mindless bliss.

Afterward, we enjoyed spending another night at Kirsten’s. It’s tiring to be on the road!

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