Monday, May 24, 2010

dispatches from quilt city

Oh where to even begin...back in December my grandmother and I were driving through Marshall County on our way to Holiday Open House. Suddenly, as we fly by at top speed (Mema has a bit of a lead foot), I notice these trees bedecked with faces made from all manner of found objects.

"What is that!?!" I exclaimed.

All my grandmother knew was that the landowner was the thorn in his neighbor's side and that they were constantly trying to sue his little found art exhibit into oblivion.

Well, I made a mental note to get back out there as soon as possible and take a closer look. Several months later, on our way back from the lake, Ron, Mom, Nicholas, Griffin, and I stopped at what we later learned was named "Hillbilly Gardens."

What a miracle...out in the middle of Marshall County. A folk art miracle.

The owner/artist Keith Holt has transformed the land inherited from his father into a found art exhibit/roadside attraction/Americana wonderland. For a small donation, one of his children will take you on a tour of the "lawnmower graveyard" and the "hillbilly rocket ship." I'm not sure if all the hillbilly references are ironic, self-effacing, or just plain funny and I don't really care. When it comes to art, I don't discriminate. I love Monets hanging in museums as much as the next girl but there is something truly special about an untrained artist taking the medium of everyday existence and trying to make something special.

And Hillbilly Gardens is special. Very special.

Oh and did I mention Toyland - the 3000 piece toy collection?
Gotta leave you thirsty for more I guess...

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