Crowdsourcing Mornings: The Enchanted Highway: The World’s Largest Sculpture Project


Geek Alabama Crowdsourcing Mornings

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

The Enchanted Highway was first conceived in 1989 when Gary Greff returned to his hometown of Regent, North Dakota and saw that the community was dying. As a result, he decided that to bring visitors to his community he would construct massive scrap-metal sculptures to keep the community alive.  Here is what the project is all about!

This next sculpture is a symbol of connection in the North Dakota prairie, a spider web. A web connects all parts into one cohesive unit, and similarly this web will act as a symbol that connects all of North Dakota. North Dakota can often be lumped into two separate regions, Western and Eastern. Although the state is sometimes categorized in this fashion it is important to realize North Dakota gains its identity and culture from both areas working as one.

Gary had been trying to figure out for a long time how he could create the spiders for this web that wouldn’t compromise the scale of the sculpture. All of the other materials for the project were rather straight forward, the web would be made with large metal cables, and the flowers could be cut, welded, and painted from average scrap metal, but the spiders themselves had been particularly difficult to figure out. He was recently inspired after he saw a cement truck drive by. Its massive metal drum spun while it kept the cement from hardening, in that moment he realized the perfect body of massive metal spider, the drum itself.

All of the previous sculptures have been funded through individual donations, some art grants, but mostly out of Gary’s own pocket. This Kickstarter will be the first time that Gary has reached out online to get support for his art.  They are looking to raise at least $15,000 with this Kickstarter and get another $15,000 from new North Dakota art grants, large individual donations and other sources not supported by Kickstarter. They are obviously hoping to raise as much money as possible with Kickstarter because they know that that will take the pressure off of Gary to find the money himself.  Gary has already invested $30,000 into the web sculpture and they are looking to push him over the edge and get to his final goal of raising $60,000.

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As of July 31st, this project has raised around $10,000 of their $15,000 goal. This project only has 7 days left to raise the $15,000 or it will not be funded!  For a pledge of $7, you will get digital pictures of the seven sculptures.  For a pledge of $35, you will get the digital pictures plus a physical print of the Enchanted Highway sculptures.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1477189188/the-enchanted-highway-the-worlds-largest

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