Should you ever wander north of Wausau, WI, you've got to visit Concrete Park.
Fred Smith, a retired Wisconsin lumberjack who could neither read nor write, turned out to be a handsome sculptor of concrete.Embellishing his creations with glass and metal, he created over 200 sculptures, which are now at home in Concrete Park.
I took plenty of pictures, so you can see some of it for yourself.
There are lots of cement people in the park. Many of them are pointing... they're not usually laughing, though. The figures are generally fairly emotionless -- though their body language is sometimes telling.
There are also plenty of sculptures that capture nature -- totally understandable up in the north woods!
Fred's wife, who knew how to type, took Fred's dictation about each sculpture -- and his words are smattered on postings between the sculptures. Click on this, and it should be readable.
Here's Mable (the aforementioned cow), being milked.
And here are Fred's comments about his sculpture of Sacajawea.
One of the most impressive displays is Fred's depiction of the Budweizer wagon.
It's displayed complete with all the Clydesdales...
The level of detail for each horse is really impressive. This was actually Fred's last piece. Shortly after completing it, he suffered a stroke and could no longer sculpt.
I wasn't sure what to expect when we entered the park. But, overall, it was pretty cool. For one, Fred was impressively productive! He also made use of quite a bit of cement and glass (conveniently, he owned a nearby tavern, so he had access to quite a few beer bottles)! This is folk art at its finest -- a great snapshot of history through the eyes of a common man.
More on Concrete Park.