Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Montrose, South Dakota: Porter Sculpture Park

There's no way to do justice to a visit to the Porter Sculpture Park. Let's just say it is unique.

The sky was threatening and thunder was in the background when we drove on the dirt road that's just off Interstate 90 east of Mitchell, South Dakota. Owner and sculptor Wayne Porter was taking away the "free" sign in front of the shed at the park containing his creations and replacing it with one that had prices on it. But when we asked about pricing, Wayne said it was raining so there was no charge.

Off we went. There are more than 50 pieces in the park. The one that attracts the most attention overlooks the Interstate - a 60-foot Longhorn that draws attention to the area. The other work, though, might be more interesting. Porter brings a sense of whimsy to his work, as he often adds silly little poems that are posted nearby the art. We liked the work shown here. The fish bowl is about 20 feet high, and it's complete with fish. It was a very interesting little walk, even if the occasional rumble of thunder kept us moving along.

Porter said he lives in a more isolated part of South Dakota - more isolated than this? - about 2.5 hours away to the west. He comes down in the summer to run the park. Porter had heard of the sculpture park that is located in Buffalo, so he obviously keeps up on things. Apparently Porter does give personal tours, although staying in the shed might have been the prudent thing to do on this particular afternoon.

When we were done, we bought a few post cards of his work - and wanted him to keep the change as a thank you for not charging us. One of the reviews said Porter didn't like touching other people's money, so we weren't surprised when he told us to just put the money into a cashbox ourselves.

We weren't sure what to expect when we pulled into the park, but we took bunches of pictures and had a fine time.

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