As road travel became popular around the world…
Artists created large scale roadside pieces designed to be seen by cars traveling down the highway. These larger-than-life pieces are a mix of roadside advertisements and abstract art designed to break up the monotony of long road trips. Here are a few interesting pieces to check out on your travels.
Columbia: South Carolina
In 2001 South Carolina artist Blue Sky unveiled a public sculpture that had been commissioned by the city to celebrate the 25th anniversary of an outdoor mural he had painted in 1975. Locals were so impressed by the popular mural that they eagerly awaited the next piece of art that he would produce. What they got was “Busted Plug Plaza,” the world’s largest fire hydrant. Standing at 40 feet tall and weighing 675,000 pounds, the piece was designed to survive a direct hit by a tornado. The piece is located at 1400 Taylor Street. It is a pretty good guess that you will be able to see it as you enter the downtown area.
The Golden Guitar: Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia
As an example of how the giant roadside attraction is not necessarily unique to North America, see The Big Old Golden Guitar Tourist Center on New England Highway in Tamworth, New South Wales. The giant Golden Guitar sculpture is dedicated to the Country Music Festival and Foundation of the Golden Guitar Awards, which are very special to the city. Inside the building is a collection of signed memorabilia inscribed by international and Australian country music icons that can be viewed by the public during business hours.
Biggest Picnic Basket: Ohio
Yogi Bear would probably pass out if he ever saw the offices of Longaberger Basket Company. When the seven-story corporate office building was constructed, it was designed to look like a giant version of one of their popular gift baskets. At night the building is lit form inside and out to create a magnificent work of art. The building is located 1500 East Main Street in Newark, Ohio.
Take a break from the road, stretch your legs and get an awesome photo opportunity for you and your fellow travelers.