Lakenenland, Michigan

Outsider art with a cheery feel.

Wikipedia: Lakenenland is a sculpture park located in Chocolay Township, Michigan. The park was founded in 2003, when artist Tom Lakenen moved his collection of scrap iron sculptures from his yard to a plot of land near the Lake Superior coast. Lakenenland contains more than 80 sculptures in the creator’s “junkyard art” style.

James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden

There are so many ways to understand a piece of land, even Wisconsin woodlands that are now just green spaces in suburbia. We saw effigy mounds. Worn down by time, it is difficult to discern the shapes. However, we did see wildlife among the deer-shaped graves of ancient people who once lived here.
A wild turkey burst out of the underbrush, purposively leading us away from her nest. Of course we walked away to leave her and her family in peace.
Outsider artist James Tellen built sculptures of things he cared about–often religious imagery–and placed them on leafy paths. It is now curated, with his work done elsewhere also placed there. We saw a deer nibbling.

First Eats of the Trip

Frank’s Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin–

Then the first but not the last frozen custard. I might rank Kopp’s best ever–just a smidgen creamier than Caliche’s in Las Cruces.

And finally exhausted from too much outsider/visionary in Shebogan, Wisconsin at the Kohler museum.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

I like following what is going on at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in upstate New York. I have fond memories of being an artist-in-residence there. Here is a poem–published in SEVEN PLACES IN AMERICA–written there:

Body Of

lake
body of water

canal
body of work

yellow mustard field
body of evidence

meadowlark
body of liberties

forest
body of knowledge

dream
body of research

fireflies
body of principals

mist
body of water

***
Stone Quarry Hill Art Park
Today we celebrate new work by visiting artist Jen Dawson. ‘Super Natural’ is composed of cement, wire mesh, and braided and patinated steel wool. The bodily nature of the work embraces change— the steel wool will quickly rust and transform, creating dichotomies of seduction and recoil, welcoming and resistance. Experience the dynamic and complex ‘Super Natural’ located in the Secret Garden.
Thank you @jendawsonart for working tirelessly and enthusiastically, rain or shine, this week at the park.
ID: A large rounded and blunt rock-like structure with large black and brown braids crowning the top and sides.

 

Domes

Lovely community gardens in domes by the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Warmed by thermal waters! We found bananas and oranges growing as well as tomatoes and herbs.

Photos by Isabel Winson-Sagan

Niki de Saint Phalle: Queen Califia’s Magical Circle

One of the pleasures for me of travel–actually of life in general–is looking at art. And the greatest pleasure is to have my socks knocked off, my heart opened, my vision expanded. But of course that doesn’t always happen. It is an almost spiritual grace when it does, and it is unpredictable.

So on this trip to the Pacific and back I was entertained and amused by what I was looking at, but not truly transported. Until this.

This visionary mosaic garden is almost indescribable. A fever dream? A mescaline trip?

The French-American artist is the creator of the Nanas–wildly cheery rolling statues of ladies with big bodies and tiny heads. This is her only garden in the U.S.–inspired in part by John McPhee’s retelling of the legend of Califia, the Black Amazon who is part of California’s mythos. I’d love to see her Tarot Garden in Italy.

You could look forever and always see something new.

Easy to like–because it is beautiful, fun, and engaging. And easy to love, because it took me right out of myself and into an incredible world.