“Lucas, Kansas, is about halfway between Denver and Kansas City (in the middle of nowhere, a.k.a. the Great Plains in north-central Kansas). I was tipped off by the director of the arts council in Salina, Kansas, some years ago. It’s just so unexpected.
“With a population of around 400, Lucas is known as the ‘Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas.’ The first and foremost installation was built between 1907 and 1928 by Samuel P. Dinsmoor, an
. The Garden of Eden
consists of Dinsmoor’s home, a limestone ‘log cabin,’ and about 150 large cement sculptures on the property that represent the artist’s interpretation of the biblical creation and world history, topped off with Dinsmoor’s mausoleum.
“A local teacher, Florence Deeble, lived nearby and constructed a series of fanciful rock gardens around her home. After she died in 2002, her home became a gallery called the Garden of Isis, exhibiting works she made from recycled materials, such as Barbie dolls that she called Rebarbs.
“The Grassroots Arts Center is a nonprofit gallery downtown which promotes and exhibits the work of Kansas folk artists. Other endearing oddities include the Bowl Plaza (public toilets) and the world’s largest tourist travel plate that welcomes one to town.
“There’s also a really good German butcher/delicatessen.”
—Sally Gaskill, Bloomington, Indiana