“kitschy folk art statues”
Supposedly, after watching Bell sculpt for three days, Ehn figured he was now a proficient sculptor and in 1951 off he went, building the multitude of statues today found on Pierce College. For the next thirty years until his death in 1981, using his self taught knowledge, John filled the front yard of his motel with folk art, by sculpting a variety of statues depicting myths, tall tales, and apparently personal experiences from the Old West. The statues feature cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, miners, saloon girls and other personages from the old west. John used the likeness of his family to create the statues. He also built his own version of a "Boot Hill", a mock cemetery of colorful and at times humorous tombstones. Kidnapped! Kidnapped! The entire site became California Historical Landmark Number 939 in 1985. Around that time, the land the motel was on had been sold to the nearby airport. The motel was sadly torn down, but luckily most of the statues and other folk art were saved and transferred to Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Now the area near the Animal Sciences Building is filled with strange faces peering out from the ground and bizarre scenes of the old west. One sculpture shows Peg Leg Smith squaring off with Big Bear, a Native American. Peg Leg Smith was a mountain man, a prospector, and a spinner of tall tales, who lived from 1801 to 1866. Another sculpture entitled "Kidnapped" shows a Native American kidnapping a woman. Others show other fanciful characters such as Lonesome George.
I enjoyed it! Watch my video here! Many more on my Youtube channel. And a lot of photos of ALOT of places at Sobaire Photography on Facebook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9MUNzKbrRQ
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