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Do You Know How to Get to Earl’s Art Park? A Folk Art Paradise in Texas

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Way, way, way up north of the Hill Country, there is a little town called Saint Jo. Thought to be named after a teetotaler opposed to alcohol, this little community became home to grandiose folk art at its finest when Earl Nunneley began creating his solutions to retirement boredom, so-called ‘Conversation Pieces.’ Although Earl passed away in 2007 at the age of 80, what is left of his work can still be seen.

Located on the Running N Ranch, it’s also listed on mapping as ‘Earl’s Art Park’ and ‘Running N Art Park.’ Using 35-foot utility poles, cars, and other found materials, Earl created giant versions of real-life things as well as abstract representations of objects. One such piece creates a fan shape and associated shadowing normally, but when viewed on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, a solitary shadow stands. Earl loved having visitors to his park and even brought in his fence a bit to make parking. Always tinkering and amending, his art changed frequently, up until his death.

Earl lived quite an interesting life, working as an entrepreneur, independent oil & gas producer, Ford automobile dealer, rancher, and real estate developer, as well as volunteering as a Scout Master and a Sunday school teacher. Of Cherokee Indian heritage, Earl knew the value of education and was involved in various scholarship programs.

Do You Know How to Get to Earl's Art Park? A Folk Art Paradise in Texas

Photo: envato elements

Make a weekend of your trip to see Earl’s Art Park, one mile south of town on FM 677, and enjoy Saint Jo. While there, visit the International Artillery Museum and The Stonewall Saloon Museum, then fill your stomach at The Lazy Heart Grill. There are several ranches to hunt and fish on, motorcycle trails, and a twice-annual Off-Roading festival! It may be a long way from the traditional Texas Hill Country but the natural topography will not disappoint!