Montrose, South Dakota: Porter Sculpture Park
Fanciful junk art statues, including a 60-foot-tall, 25-ton sculpture of a bull's head -- and its creator may be lurking inside. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [12/07/2008]
Visitor Tips and News About Porter Sculpture Park
Porter Sculpture Park is still awesome! We were also here last June and it is still just as fascinating.[Angelique Kube, 06/27/2012]
This place is fantastic. Definitely worth the trip.[Angelique Kube, 06/19/2011]
This was a really fun place. Mr. Porter still runs it and told us about his sculptures. The sculptures are all made of metal. My favorite was the buzzards in different poses.[John Hannaford, 08/17/2009]
The giant bull head at Montrose Sculpture Park is visible for miles on I-90. We were met by the artist's parents, who staff the entrance. The artist's mother conducts the first half of the tour, and she even allowed us to bring our dog along on a leash! Another large sculpture depicts a fish jumping out of a cracked fish bowl and making an escape across the field.
First first half of the tour takes you past the cartoon-like vultures doing different things such as bashing each other over the tops of their heads with hammers. After the vultures you wind past the yellow man (poking fun at art critics), the Rainy Day, Screaming Man (freaky), Wise Man, Deadman's Hill, Magic Dragon, Prairie Dragon, and American Gothic -- a very interesting take on the famous "farmer and pitchfork" painting.
Once you arrive at the Bull Head, artist Wayne Porter descends from somewhere within the bull head to greet you. The head representing an extinct Egyptian Long Horn, is made mostly out of railroad plates welded together. Wayne claims to have no artistic skills (can't draw, paint, etc) but he's is truly gifted with a welding rod, in my opinion. The eye of the bull is inspired by Michaelangelo and has a very human look to it. Several skeleton beasts guard the Bull and the real treat comes when you look inside the bull head. There is some kind of tortured demon hanging behind the bridge of the Bull's nose and it is quite freaky. There are other things in there, but I don't want to spoil the suprise.
There are many other sculptures, but by far the strangest is the "Jack in the Box." It's supposed to represent Pandora's box opening. The clown has bloody eyes and a bloody mouth. The chess game on the box lid represents the never-ending game of life and the sword represents the Good King who died battling evil. The rooster on the box lid is announcing a new day, now that the box has been opened. It's not all bad, though, as the green olive leaf growing on the clown's club represents the hope needed to overcome evil.
With Wayne and his mother giving guided tours, you get the know the stories behind all the pieces of art.[Greg Brown, 10/13/2001]