South Dakota’s Porter Sculpture Park offers unique look at art

Porter Sculpture Park

The bull head is as tall as one of the presidents’ heads on Mount Rushmore.Gian

Folks driving along Interstate 90 outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, may notice a giant bull head staring back at them. You may have heard of the Little House on the Prairie, but what about the Little Sculpture Park on the Prairie?

The Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose (about 30 miles west of Sioux Falls) features the 60-foot tall bull head as the centerpiece for more than 50 statues, all made by Wayne Porter.

Porter’s father and grandfather were farmers. His dad eventually became a blacksmith. The younger Porter and his siblings spent a lot of time around the shop. Porter started creating small sculptures as a kid.

After graduating from South Dakota State University, Porter started his post-academic life as a farmer – a sheep farmer, actually. He decided farming wasn’t for him, so he started creating sculptures from scrap metal. He created a few sculptures in western South Dakota. He eventually moved his work to Montrose.

Porter Sculpture Park

Fish breaking out of their bowl to go on a great adventure.

Porter set up at the perfect spot along I-90. It’s nearly impossible to miss the sculptures, which are spread out among 10 acres, with the Bull Head (its name) and others prominently displayed near the top of a hill.

We have wanted to check out the sculpture garden for a couple of years. We came close last year…twice. But, time restrictions prevented us from making it out there until this year. It was worth the wait. We had a great time checking out Porter’s art pieces. It also helped that we had the chance to visit with the creator of the attraction.

Porter Sculpture Park

Vultures as politicians…so many jokes available.

Porter’s creations are quite interesting. They run the gamut from politicians as vultures to robed priests marching toward the Bull Head, which has been interpreted by some people as Satanic.

Porter Sculpture Park

Why does Monty Python pop into my mind with this view?

Inside the Bull Head, visitors can see even more artwork. You have to stand inside and take a gander at the attraction. Watch out for bats that call the bull home.

Porter Sculpture Park

Inside the bull’s head offers some “interesting” views.

Porter created a sculpture honoring his brother, who told him to show him riding a horse. He did. Porter’s brother is depicted as a knight riding a stick pony. You can’t question Porter’s sense of humor.

Porter Sculpture Park

Sir Porter.

As we walked among the grounds, the art just jumped out at us. A pink dragon. People seem drawn to this piece, Lisa included.

Porter Sculpture Park

Pink elephant? Nope. A pink dragon.

I kind of liked the fly carrying a fly swatter. A killer of its own kind? Or maybe a symbolic gesture toward swatting out humans? Most likely, Porter thought it was cute to make a giant fly holding a swatter. There is no rhyme or reason to the man’s creativity. His work is the product of what either interests him or my pop into his mind.

Porter Sculpture Park

Fly playing tennis? Or a fly carrying a swatter?

Another piece that Lisa and I both enjoyed depicted a guy enjoying a ride down hill on a sled. The artwork was impressive for a self-taught artist.

Porter Sculpture Park

Sleddin’ fun!

Porter Sculpture Park is well worth the $8 admission per adult. We highly recommend visiting the park.

Check out more photos and information on the sculpture park at www.portersculpturepark.com.

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