Folk Art 101

When you travel as far as I did on my two-week trip to Colorado, you welcome anything that breaks up the monotony of a long drive.

I brake for Roadside Art, at least when well done. Metal sculptures have often drawn my attention in Malheur and when crossing from northern California to southern Oregon on I-5, and three fanciful monsters caught my attention in southwest Wyoming on this trip, my favorite being this one:

Wyoming Monster

This mural:


seen in La Veta, Colorado also stands out, particularly because it was painted on a small, nondescript house. I would have loved to ask the owner what the figures symbolized.

Of course it’s not unusual to see art used by businesses to attract customers. I doubt I would’ve even noticed the chicken on top of the truck in Hatch,

Large Plastic Chicken

if the business across the street hadn’t been so unusual.


It was also hard to ignore the huge Uncle Sam holding the green chili in the parking lot.

Uncle Sam with Green Chile

I couldn’t decide if that was more sacrilegious than the Statue of Liberty wrapped with a garland of red chilies.

Red Hot Statue of Liberty

And of course, faithful readers will know that I could not possibly have resisted to charm of the tin figure in the fountain.

Mechanical Man

Who knows, I might have been praising the food right now, if the restaurant hadn’t been closed on Mondays, which was unfortunately the day I stopped by.

7 thoughts on “Folk Art 101”

  1. I love these! Thank you for sharing them!

    One reason I avoid interstates is because there’s so much more to see if you get just a little ways off of the main corridors.

    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Thomas. Wish I’d found more of them to share. That’s one of my intents on future trips.

  2. The last one is my favorite!!

    We used to have a building supply store here with a giant Paul Bunyon on top of the building.

    1. The last on is very Oz-like and since the Tin Man is my favorite character, I like that one best, too.

  3. Thanks for these, Loren. Art will not be suppressed, especially with your eye. I guess the bandolier of red chilies tops my chart. As always, thanks for bringing these things to your blog. kjm

  4. Next time you visit here, remind me to show you the street in Sebastopol that is lined with this type of folk art. The artist lives in the middle of the block and decorates his neighbors’ yards with his masterpieces. A delight!

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