Monday, April 06, 2009

Obsessed Much?

If one were to compile a listing of folk art and artists in southwestern Kansas, M.T. Liggett of Mullinville would probably have to head that list, if only because of the strength of his character. His kinetic, totem style creations blow in the Kansas winds, created from old farm machinery, road signs and assorted dietrus. The inspiration for most of his creations are whatever strikes him as worthy of comment - he mocks major politicians, local officials, items in the news, his ex wives - whatever trips his trigger. His work is mostly concentrated at Mullinville - a small spot on the map at the US54/US400 junction west of Greensburg, KS (yes, that Greensburg). There is a small (relatively speaking) display along US 54 just west of the "split," but the majority of his work lines the north side of US 400 on the west edge of the city limits in the corner of a pasture. Don't forget to click to enlarge the pictures.

His take on the Waco massacre.

A view to the northwest from near the eastern edge of the line.

I think some of these are associated with his ex wives.

He's not happy with the BATF, nor with former President Bill Clinton. The area I photographed would probably be primarily the "Clinton Era Section." He doesn't care much for the Bush family, either.

More on Waco, Branch Davidians, and his view of the law enforcement officers involved. I saw one about Janet Reno, too.

Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush are noticeable here.

Tipper Gore and I'm assuming Teddy would of course be Ted Kennedy. Cecil Maupin was the owner of Maupin's Truck Parts in Dodge City (a truck recycler with new and used truck sales). I'm sure he was alive when this section was first displayed. And, an artist signs his work, right?

There is quite a bit of info on the web about Mr. Liggett. There are several videos interviewing him and showcasing his work. Below is one - and beware of the language. He says what's on his mind. I do recommend watching the video to see the sculptures in motion, and to get a better idea of the quantity of the sculptures.


There are quite a few different sites that mention Mr. Liggett scattered across the Intertubes, plus several videos. If you watch this video, you'll see he cuts hearts out of old plow disks - then he has a heart and the cutout for display (plus there is one beneath the "Tipper" sign in one of the pictures above). Our county attorney's place just on the east side of Cimarron has the pasture fenceposts lined with those hearts - given to him by Mr. Liggett.

He certainly is the epitome of the quirky individual driven to express himself.


ptg said...

The Gretna, Nebraska City Council once passed an ordinance banning "unusual lawn ornaments" because one cat had a 20' tall fiberglass Yogi the Bear statue in his yard. I told them the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague, but they didn't seem to think the federal laws applied to them.

I wonder if Mr Liggett would accept a commission to make some sculptures for Gretna. It would make a great test case.

Jeffro said...

Good to hear from ya, pt! I think the State of Kansas made Liggett move some of his creations bordering US54 near the right of way for some similar reason.

pleasantp said...

Several years ago, while I was driving from OKC to DEN, I got lost in mid Kansas. Drove right by this exhibit. He was working on a new one, so we chatted abit. He had lots of kinetic displays with moving parts. Well worth seeing.

Nuckle Kim