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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Whimsical 'Found Art' of Remote Baker, Nevada

Meet Barb Wire

All Images Copyright by Tom Debley, 2011
All Rights Reserved

This blog post celebrates the "found art" of Baker, Nevada. Baker has a population of 68. And its "Post" Impression "art gallery" is a wide-open spaces collection of works on Highway 488, the five-mile-long road that leads into Great Basin National Park from Baker. Okay, it’s not really an art galley. It’s a whimsical collection of "found art" that is literally scattered along Highway 488 in the high desert of far eastern Nevada, often on fence posts.

According to various sources, it all began in 1997.  It is said a man named “Doc” Sherman of Baker, partially paralyzed by a crippling stroke, found artistic endeavors were amazing therapy. The first work in the “gallery” was his “Permanent Wave,” a plaster-filled glove mounted on a fence post. The idea caught on and, if you can an eye out, you can spot any number of castoffs that have turned one person’s junk into another person’s art as property owners have taken up the fanciful task of creating “Post" Impression art, the post referring to the fencepost that held Doc’s early work.

I never spotted Doc’s “Permanent Wave,” but found numerous other fence posts, fences and fields decorated by named and unnamed pieces of art by fun-loving residents.

Here’s “Too Tall Tony,” for instance, whose grave can’t hold him.

Nearby is the skeleton of an unnamed denizen presumably rising from another grave?

Of course, you want to be sure to meet       
Barb and Bob Wire along the roadside.       

Then there is the alien head
in his (her?) current headgear.
In photos a few years back, this
alien wore a National Park
Service ranger hat.

O-1 is another alien figure, presumably named for the O-1 visa” that is a temporary work visa available to aliens who have “extraordinary abilities.”

Don't miss the 1918 Essex: "Horse with No Mane."


“Anywhere But Here” features a man whose face is made from an old “Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine.”

This one causes headaches trying to figure out the pun.  The figure is "washing a ton," thus a title of "Washington."

Okay, this guy is untitled, but it is clear he is manning his post. Note a fresh bullet hole at the center of the base.

 Jet ski? I dunno.

Hmmmmm.  Again, I dunno.

"Lamp Post?"  But what’s the chimney-like thing about?


  1. Hello,

    My name is Lew Blank and I am a writer for Would it be possible for us to have permission to use some of these photos?

    Thank you!

  2. When there was a dispute over whose land belonged to whom around 1910, the City stepped in, expropriated the land, and created a tiny road between the houses on Ashdale and the rear lots.fence contractor sic code