Grassroots Art Center


Another highlight of our trip to the little town of Lucas, Kansas, was the Grassroots Art Center who has made it their mission to collect and preserve the folk art of the area.  We were given a wonderful tour, and I was amazed at the prolific imagination these people had.  Many of them had turned to an artistic outlet because of an illness or injury that limited their “normal” activities.  They turned to all kinds of interesting artistic expressions just to have something to live for.  If not for the Grassroots Art Center, many of these creations would have been lost.


In a room that was once a bank vault, we found all kinds of crazy “garage sale art” as was collected by James Perucca. Junk, and ribbons, and baubles hung everywhere.


Ed Root created numerous cement sculptures…I really enjoyed the metal weather vane style work on top of this piece.

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Mri-Pilar (same artist that did the mosaic work) has a whole herd of these altered Barbie dolls.  Some of them had a really cool tribal look to them.

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John Woods made some amazing creations using junk that was dredged out of the bottom of a lake.  It is like a giant 3D I spy game!


He also made this fun electronic matching game with all kinds of interesting postcards, and mysterious clues.


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This car was made by Herman Divers entirely of the old pull tabs that pop cans used to have.  He also made furniture, and a set of clothing for he and his wife.  No framework or materials other than pull tabs – impressive!

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Betty Milliken made a name for herself for making tiny little portraits….out of chewing gum!

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Adolph Hannemann preferred to work in wood.

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When Inez Marshall found herself confined to a wheelchair, she also took up carving, but her works are shaped out of massive blocks of limestone!  This 700+ pound church even has pews full of people, and a preacher at the pulpit inside.

There were also barbed wire sculptures, metal sculptures, ships made from trash, and intricate moving mechanical creations.  So much creativity and repurposing in one place!  It made me anxious to rush home to my stock of “junk” and get busy creating!  What is the most unusual art supply that you use?



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