Lucas, Kansas: The Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas

As I enter Main Street, small-town America greets me with the world’s largest souvenir travel plate, made from what was once a satellite dish.

Blue turtles climb up a telephone pole, while a tiger-headed larger-than-life animal uses another as a scratching post.

Awash in the light of the summer sun, only a tiny fraction of the landscape is left undecorated. Embellished tiles line the foundations of houses, and mosaic isn’t uncommon.

The Grassroots Art Center

Kansas is third in the nation in the number of grassroots art sites, just behind California and Wisconsin.

Why do you find so many in Kansas?

Their yards are more extensive, so artists have more room to create, fewer activities to keep people busy, and no covenant neighborhoods restrict what homeowners can put in their yards.

What is Grass Roots Art?

A sign printed on brown butcher paper in the Grass Roots Art Center defines the style. “Grass Roots Art is work done by self-taught artists operating outside the traditions of fine art and folk art.

These intuitive artists follow a personal vision. They seem to work to please only themselves, following their inner direction or drive.

The term refers to personalized environments, exterior or interior composed of many individual pieces of sculpture.

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