Now That’s Bull (I-90 Landmark Makes Time’s Top 50 List)

09 Aug

Sphinx of the Plains

No shiitake.

Time Magazine has listed Montrose, SD’s very own Porter Sculpture Park as one of the Top 50 Roadside Attractions in America.

Nobody misses that 60 foot Bull.

The big bull is actually called Sphinx of the Plains, and is guarded by four fierce ram-headed dudes. Inside, if you get to know sculptor Wayne Porter a bit, he’ll let you climb up the Bull’s head and swing in the homemade iron porch swing 20 or so feet up. Not a scary height, til you see the spikes and other iron weapons decorating the walls of the climb.

At the end of last summer, I took my two interns, Karin and Jamie, to Porter Sculpture Park for a season-closing field trip. We spent half a morning exploring with Wayne. I brought my camera. Nature brought some wind.

You might have missed it, but my favorite part of that little video is Wayne’s description of a “perfectly mangled” piece of metal that fit just right into his Pandora’s Box.

I wrote about our first trip out there a couple years ago. It’s really a fascinating experience, one I promise you’ll never forget with Wayne as your tour guide. It really is exactly what the name lets on, a pasture full of dozens and dozens of sculptures Wayne made from recycled scrap metal and paint. Some pieces are all playful, and others have real depth. My favorite is this one, a woman sweeping up the pieces of her life (pictured with the sculptor).

But I like this fertility goddess one a lot too.

I really love the mix of experiences out there in the Park. You can feel the grounding nature of the tall and short grass prairie beneath your feet and covering the rolling hills; the rustic, whimsical artwork lightening the day all around you; the energy and passion of an artist sharing his works in such personal, interactive way; and the modern buzz of I-90 traffic zooming by just down the hill. All together, there’s some magic in it every time for me.

Wayne makes Montrose his home for the summers, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the park is open for visitors every day. In the off season, you can track me down for a tour, or ask ellen at the General Store and she’ll find someone to take you out there.

Read the story in Time here, and check out the other 49 Best Roadside Attractions. You can see several more pictures we’ve taken at Porter Sculpture Park on our Flickr set, or search for Porter Sculpture Park on Flickr to see hundreds of photos from people all over the world.

And thanks to the Rock Garden Tour for pointing out the obvious.


Posted by on August 9, 2010 in etc., Montrose, video


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3 responses to “Now That’s Bull (I-90 Landmark Makes Time’s Top 50 List)

  1. Eric

    August 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Why is barb holding up the wrong hand??

  2. JoAnn

    August 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Wayne ~ we love your park. What an incredible talent you have. Have you ever given thought about making a few sculptures to put in town in Montrose? Maybe a couple on main street and one by one of the entrances of Montrose or by the Welcome to Montrose sign.

    By having sculptures in Montrose it could attract visitors to Montrose and to your Sculpture Park.

    This would be a win for both you and for Montrose. The sculpures would attract more people to stop in to Montrose for gas, groceries, camping and etc. and it would also attract more people to your Sculpture Park.

    Thanks for sharing your incredible talents and for making Montrose your home.


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