Bakke's Cement Sculptures.

Big Folk Art: Jesus, Troll, Earth Eagle

Field review by the editors.

Elbow Lake, Minnesota

According to Arvid Bakke, his father didn't talk about why he built large, full-color sculptures on his farm. But although the elder Allen Bakke wasn't communicative, he was industrious. He built about 30 sculptures in all, mostly using a steel frameworks covered by colored cement. His first big one, a Virgin Mary, stands in nearby Millerville. Most of the rest are still on the farm, only a few feet from the outbuildings where they were assembled, even though Allen died in 2013.

Bakke's Cement Sculptures.

Allen's work includes a troll with an evil smirk -- made for Elbow Lake's annual Norwegian Flekkefest; a five-foot-high Jesus head that Allen later learned was too heavy to mount on a Jesus body; a model of the earth on which is perched a planet-size bald eagle; and Allen's final work, a 20-foot-tall Jesus made of mesh so that the wind wouldn't blow it down.

Big Folk Art: Jesus, Troll, Earth Eagle

Hwy 4, Elbow Lake, MN
From US Hwy 59 in town turn east onto 2nd St NE, then a quick left onto Hwy 4/20. Drive north about two miles. You'll see the sculptures on the left.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Coot (a type of duck) StatueBig Coot (a type of duck) Statue, Ashby, MN - 9 mi.
Continental Divide TripodContinental Divide Tripod, Fergus Falls, MN - 13 mi.
Broken Down DamBroken Down Dam, Fergus Falls, MN - 19 mi.
In the region:
The Sermon In Stone, Fairmount, ND - 31 mi.

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