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.