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A beautiful Sunday morning stroll with intentional, creative art in a welcoming space.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
John Martinson studied art the University of Wisconsin in Madison from 1974 to 1976, moved to Galena in 1979 and opened his art studio in 1986. Located at 620 South West Street, off U.S. Highway 20, off Gear Street, west of downtown Galena, it is lovingly described as "two acres of creative steel." Open from 10 to 6 daily, visitors are free to walk through the wooded property and view more than a dozen large, welded steel sculptures. Maps are available to take a self-guided tour along a wooded path where pieces are identified by title and year. See the on-site studio where John is often working. Spread over two acres of natural outdoor space, this open air park offers an array of funky, whimsical, welded steel sculpture, including two 40-foot towers, a giant tinkertoy and a 9/11 sculpture of a tiny plane and a giant cube. Junk art? Hardly. It's fun to see what an artist can do with a piece of steel.
Written August 9, 2022
The sculptures were a lot of fun to look at, and the artist was very friendly. Make sure to pick up a brochure to read more about the pieces. I’m headed to the area again next week, and am planning to make another visit.
Written August 9, 2022
This sculpture park was an enjoyable change to the downtown area. John has quite the imagination for sculpting rusted, discarded and unusual items into art. Glad we took the time to check out the over 30 pieces on display. And it's free.
Written April 29, 2022
This is a very unusual setting w/metal oddities that are HUGE sculptures. The park is quite wooded and the sculptures are all over the place so you have to go down different paths to see them. They are made of various metal parts (from cars, bikes, etc.). Some are older. Some could use a touch up as could some of the signs. The man who created this is very clever.
Written June 14, 2021
If you're looking for an offbeat experience while visiting Galena, this sculpture park is for you. The artist has created the park on his property to be enjoyed by the public. There are dozens of amazing scrap metal sculptures here, there, and everywhere, even in the trees! We enjoyed our visit on a beautiful autumn afternoon, and got a lot of great photos. Entry is free, but be sure to leave a donation!
Written October 14, 2020
Well worth a stop. Our original "quick 15 minute walk" through the park plan turned into about a 2 hour "this is really cool" experience. Made even better when the artist arrived unannounced and gave us tour of his workshop and works in progress.
Written January 14, 2020
This was an unexpected, fun stop. The years that must be involved in making these sculptures is beyond belief. Clever names and descriptions are provided on a map along with natural bug repellant you'll want to use if you didn't bring your own (gnats or black flies will be pesky). The artist was sitting out on the property and probably wouldn't have talked unless we started the conversation, then he was happy to share anything we wanted to know! Charming people there. It's a free walk-through sculpture park in the man's yard that you wouldn't hardly know was there because of the vegetation grown up around the edges. Wheelchairs would be able to see some sculptures from the driveway, but the rest of the area is grass and a sloping hillside. If you're unsteady on your feet it could be difficult to walk too far in. You can definitely tell the man has a sense of humor :)
Written June 25, 2020
We decided to go exploring and walked up to the Sculpture park after reading other reviews. The climb up the hill was steep but definitely worth it. The setting is lovely with the sculptures placed throughout. The sculptures themselves are fun, interesting, and in some cases quirky. It's definitely a unique place. As an added treat we met John Martinson, the sculptor, who answered our questions about some of the pieces. He also encouraged us to use the vanilla spray for the gnats- which we had originally passed up. We were glad we did- it definitely made a difference.
Written July 1, 2019
The roads look closed due to construction but they are open. We were actually surprised to see the artist there which was neat! Was a hot day but enjoyed working through the woods to appreciate the various art sculptures.
Written August 12, 2018
If you find yourself in Galena, make sure you save some time to wander this great and truly unique sculpture park. I loved it, and I know my 7 year old enjoyed the (designated) climbing sculpture. Plenty to see, well worth a donation. Good website as well.
Written April 26, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions about West Street Sculpture Park
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