John Gaeddert - North Newton, Kansas
Simplicity in form would be the best way to describe John Gaeddert's wood carvings. In retirement, the North Newton man discovered that he loved the flow of a natural piece of wood. He would search for just the right piece of wood in a pasture or alongside the road, and then work hours sanding, highlighting each curve of the piece and then finishing it with a coat of sealer.
Oscar Gunnarson - Lindsborg, Kansas - 1884-1982
Cement Figures & Paintings
Oscar Gunnarson was born and died at Lindsborg, KS. He owned a paint store. When business was slow, he created over 60 cement sculptures, portraying friends, neighbors, community leaders and scenes of local life. He never sold his sculptures, but displayed them in his store window. He also did oil paintints, including scenes of Smoky Valley winter splendor.
Adolph Hannemann - Lincoln, Kansas - 1928-2010
Wood and Stone Carving
Adolph Hannemann lived and created on a farm in rural Lincoln county. This self-taught artist shaped and fashioned exquisite wood, stone and bone carvings. Hannemann, an intuitive carver was actively creating from 1976 through the mid 1990's. Over one hundred and thirty sculptures, primarily from native Kansas woods found on his farmstead, were donated by the family. Hannemann's trademark is the multiple heads which he titled the "Choir," "Congregation" and "The Fuzz." He carved nearly a thousand portraits of people expressing a wide gamut of emotions, and a smaller number of animal sculptures.
Ernie Hansen - McLouth, Kansas - 1897-1992
Ernie Hansen worked on local farms and as a mechanic before starting his own machine shop in 1940. He was skilled at making his own tools and parts. He started working with wood at age 10 when his mother gave him a set of tools. In retirement, he made rocking chairs and boxes of Osage orange and walnut. He also made dogs, cats, elephants and goats. his dogs and cats have battery-powered eyes that light up at the pull of a tail.
Metal Yard Art
Lloyd Harden - Goodland, Kansas - 1927-2012
Lloyd Harden, a lifelong farmer, fashioned exotic birds, dogs, spiders and a monstrous grasshopper out of junk iron and scrap metal. The grasshopper body is made from a Masseyy 44 tractor, the legs are cylinder bars from a combine. Cultivator shanks and the snout of a cornppicker were also used. His two rules when welding parts together were it had to look believable and the used parts had to remain identifiable. Parts used were blade guards from sickles, spark plugs, bearing housings, starter end plates, corn knives from corn stalk shredders and more. He never spent money on parts, only on paint and welding supplies. He sold smaller pieces.
Painting Guerilla Art
Richard "Mongo Man" Harper - New Bern, North Carolina
"Guerilla Art" is a lifestyle embraced by Richard "Mongo Man" Harper of New Bern, North Carolina. It is the practice of leaving artwork with a message in public places usually without being observed. Harper declared 2008 as "The Year of Mongo." Mongo is New York City slang for discarded items that have been retrieved. This was an attempt to bring attention to the fact that citizens are turning our planet into a global scrap heap. Harper undertook a mission to place a thousand pieces of recycled art in public places within the next few years. He paints on hubcaps, bottles, and cardboard. Whenever he is going on a trip, he takes his art along and randomly leaves it on a park table or bench, business or church doorway, or bus stop for a stranger to take it home with them.
Millard Harrell - Emporia, Kansas
Millard spent years in SW Kansas as a funeral home director. When he retired he moved to Emporia. As a young man is spend time watching his uncle whittle as a downtown business in Paradise, Ks. Now in retirement he enjoys that same pastime and is quite gifted at carving in different types of wood especially fond of cottonwood bark.
Frank "Doc" Horinek - Atwood, Kansas - 1911-2002
Frank Horinek started making his wooden farm machinary in the 1970's to show his grandchidren how farm equipment used to operate. There were no scale models or blueprints for his creations, he used his imagination and often the size of the scrap lumber determined the size of the piece.Horinek built his own lathe and tools. He loved to carve pliers out of small pieces of wood, which he would give people as mementos when he and his wife Martha traveled. "I'm a Jack-of-all-trades and I've mastered every one of them."
Windmills & Whirligigs
Alvin Hrabe - Hutchinson, Kansas - 1928-2008
Alvin Hrabe began creating his fence row of windmills at the age of 74 in 2001, when he needed something to do. He created 65 unique pieces over the next 8 years. He was a woodworking specialist, constructin furniture in North Carolina. Alvin was creative and liked people. His made many personalized windmills as gifts for friends and family. Sometimes he incorporated coins, or religious items. He got most of his scrap metal from a junk metal dealer in Hutchinson. his recycled parts included air conditioner parts, blades, bearings, shopping cart wheels and more. Reflective tape attached to the blades or poles made the windmills amazing to observe at night.
Jerry Hubbell - Howard, Kansas
The hand painted signage on the mailbox states "The Pilgram's Hubbell's Rubble". Jerry Hubble began his environment in south central Kansas as a "tranquilizer" while waiting for a leg to heal in the early 1990's. His site has cost about $25 in raw materilas and he's not keeping track of his time and labor. Numerous metal and cloth creations adorn a corner lot, in addition to the historic WPA outhouse hich is Jerry's info center and visitor registration. The first thing he made was "Tilly the tiller." Batman and a giant dinosaur appreared as a result of requests from grandsons. Jerry said, "Sometimes you need space and this is mine."
Thomas Jason "TJ" Jenkins - Kansas City, Missouri
Wooden Bears in Yards
TJ Jenkins started creating art when his life threw him some curve balls, to get his mind off his troubles.He had lived in the Appalachian region and remembered all the art work put along the roads. He started with a hammer and carpenters chisel one bad day and made a head out of a piece of wood. He progressed to the small chain saw method and created a collection of human heads, a paid of underwear, a tooth and a heart with wings. He was told "people like bears", so he made bears, posting them on trees along the roads and it turns out they put a smile on people's faces. Now over a hundred bears are scattered around his home area. "Who doesn't like to have a bear head stuck in their tree? it is the closest thing I get to a vacation." he said.
Frank Jensen - Augusta, Kansas
"In 1986 I purchased "the Hill" with it's barn and trailer house so I could have a place to work without disturbing my city neighbors. I named this place Henry's Sculpture Hill in homage to Henry David Thoreau who wrote in Walden "if a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." His metal sculptures are of all forms and shapes, including scenes and sculptures based on classical literature from Vervante to Frost.
Arthur Johnson - New Gottland, Kansas - 1889-1986
Arthur Johnson retired from farming in McPherson County at age 79, and started to build replica buildings of sheet metal. he was a master at soldering and all he needed was one photograph of each side of the structure to begin creating. Johnson used 23 gauge galvanized sheet metal - cutting, drilling, filing it smooth and slodering it together. He especially designed tools to create a clapboard siding or brick effect. He made between 250-300 replicas before he died. besides houses, churches, school buildings and lamps he has made modles of the White House, Mount Vernon and the lincoln memorial. He said "I've never seen anybody do this before. I never get tired of doing them bacause not all houses are the same."