Concrete folk art in Northern Wisconsin

I made a trip to Northern Wisconsin over the Labor Day holiday weekend and couldn't help but make a quick stop at the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips, Wis. The park is home to more than 200 concrete sculptures by self-taught artist Fred Smith. Smith built his sculptures out of wood frames wrapped with wire then covered with hand-mixed concrete. He added broken glass, mirrors and other found objects to decorate his art. The sculptures tell stories of local, national and world history. It's a fun place to explore folk art and nature, and a unique way to look at concrete. Concrete artists of today, such as Buddy Rhodes, Fu-Tung Cheng, and the countless other concrete contractors creating beautiful decorative concrete in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor living areas across the country, have a different take on concrete as art.  But like Fred Smith, today's concrete artists appreciate the versatility of concrete, it's connection to recycled and found materials, and it's ability to transform an artist's dream into reality.

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