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Motor Home Friendly Roadside Galleries and Attractions

Dec 3, 2007
Not all art gets displayed in a museum or gallery. If you've traveled the country in a motor home, you've probably noticed that there are sometimes odd things to be found by the side of the road, like giant dinosaur statues or huge Paul Bunyons that don't seem to serve any purpose at all. This is what is known as "outside art," and the United States, more than any other country, has many examples just off the beaten path. Here are three unique roadside art attractions you can visit.

The Statues of Auburn - Auburn, California

Imagine that you make a motor home pit stop in the town of Auburn, around exit 49 on California's Highway 80. You head into town, and soon find yourself looking at a giant statue of an archer, shooting his arrow into the sky. Or you may see a naked man, wrestling with chains, or a giant Chinese coolie mournfully pushing a wheelbarrow. You've just discovered the Great Statues of Auburn.

These statues, some as big as 40 feet tall and as heavy as 120 tons, are standing in a field next to the parking lot of a dentist's office. It is the office of Ken Fox, and he is also the sculptor of the statues. They range in subject matter; some are themes from California's history like the coolie, or a gold miner. Others are more esoteric, including a nude woman praying to the sky. All are large and lifelike, and quite a surprise when you happen upon them.

Ken Fox still works on his statues, though he is now into his 80's. He has become something of a local celebrity in Auburn, as tourists from all over stop to look at his statues. And, he still practices his dental work.

Carhenge - Western Nebraska

On the plains of western Nebraska sits Carhenge, a replica of Great Britain's famous historic monument. Carhenge, however, is made from vintage cars painted grey. It is close to the small town of Alliance, Nebraska in the high plains.

Unlike the monument in Great Britain, it wasn't built by ancient druids. It was built in 1987 by British artist Jim Reinders, and it replicates the original to the last detail. He studied the mysterious monument in England to make sure each stone would be represented.

Carhenge has no admission charge, and you can visit it any time whether night or day. But, the best time to see it is in the daytime, when the newly built visitors' center is open. Sunset is a good time, when the setting sun behind the cars gives it an air of mystery!

For more information, you can contact the Friends of Carhenge.

The Forevertron - Baraboo, Wisconsin

The Forevertron sits amid an open air gallery behind a surplus store full of giant metal oddities. This artwork was created by scrap sculpture artist Tom Evermor, or "Dr. Tom Every" as he is also known. All over the grounds of his museum, just off Highway 12 in Wisconsin, are his sculptures made of scrap metal and machine parts. His sculptures have improved and become more varied over the years, but the Forevertron is the masterpiece.

The centerpiece of the Forevertron is a giant copper egg which is supposed to draw electricity from the sky. It is a masterpiece of turn of the century science fiction design. The sculpture is a variety of scrap and salvage all welded together. What is it for? You'll have to drive your motor home to Wisconsin and as the doctor himself to find out exactly.

Across America, you can find a variety of examples of outsider art. Many of these are away from the usual galleries and museums, making them an ideal destination for motor home tourists.
About the Author
A variety of outsider art dots the American highways. If you're looking for a motor home vacation unlike the typical trips, visiting these sites is a great idea. A visit to Bankston Motor Homes for your RV puts you on your way. http://www.bankstonmotorhomes.com
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