Larry Vennard’s Iron Sculpture Park in Centralia, Missouri




Larry Vennard - Scrap Metal Artist, Centralia, Missouri
Larry Vennard – Scrap Metal Artist, Centralia, Missouri

In September I was traveling back home and on the way had the opportunity to stop at a small farm north of Centralia, Missouri on Highway T to visit scrap metal artist Larry Vennard, see his “Original Highway ‘T’ Rex” and a number of other pieces of his “Outside Art Sculpture Park.”  I mentioned him in my blog post about my trip back from Omaha, Nebraska.  But, he deserves his own blog entry much like my blog post about “Jurustic Park” in Wisconsin.  In the tradition of other “Outside Art”, he has dinosaurs, animals and mythical creatures all made from scrap metal (see one of my most popular posts entitled Yard Art: Creativity with Scrap Metal, Chain Saw Art and “stuff” collections for more from around the US and Canada).

Larry Vennard's Highway "T" Rex near Centralia, MO
Larry Vennard’s Highway ‘T’ Rex north of  Centralia, MO

We had to really fly from a late afternoon arrival in Chillicothe to get to Larry’s place on 13178 Highway T in Centralia.  But we did get there just at dusk and I got to meet Larry and learn more about his work.  He has been doing these sculptures for a number of years and really loves the attention he gets.  When we arrived and got out for a look see, the jovial Larry strolled out of his small farmhouse to greet me (along with his barking dog).  Larry suffered a disastrous car accident in the early 1990s.  He got a broken back that forced him to retire from his traveling construction work.  He walked out with a cane and a nice smile.

Sumoflam and Larry Vennard at his Iron Sculpture Park
Sumoflam and Larry Vennard at his Iron Sculpture Park

Here is the map to his place:


View Larger Map – map to Larry Vennard’s Iron Sculpture Park

If you look at Google Maps, it actually provides you a nice quick shot as can be seen below:

Larry Vennard’s front yard heading east on Missouri Highway T. You can see the “Highway ‘T’ Rex” on the right

Fortunately, we arrived just at dusk so I could clearly see all of Larry’s pieces, but, it got dark quickly, so most of the photos below are done with a flash and I tried to edit in some brightness….

Highway "T" Rex
Larry Vennard’s “Highway ‘T’ Rex”
Sumoflam with the Highway "T" Rex
Sumoflam with the “Highway ‘T’ Rex”

Vennard’s “Highway ‘T’ Rex” is about 20 feet tall and is by far his biggest project.  You can’t miss it either as you drive east on Highway T coming from Centralia.  He looks like he is ready to reach out an grab you!!  Following are a few other pieces I was able to capture…

Larry Vennard's "Triceratops"
Larry Vennard’s “Triceratops”
"Shaman" by Larry Vennard
“Shaman” by Larry Vennard
"Javelin Man" by Larry Vennard
“Javelin Man” by Larry Vennard
Another view of "Javelin Man"
Another view of “Javelin Man”
"Archer" by Larry Vennard
“Archer” by Larry Vennard
"Dimetrodon" by Larry Vennard
“Dimetrodon” by Larry Vennard
Dimetrodon's Sharp Teeth - watch out!!
Dimetrodon’s Sharp Teeth – watch out!!
"Missouri Shovel Tailed Fighting Rooster" by Larry Vennard
“Missouri Shovel Tailed Fighting Rooster” by Larry Vennard
Not sure about this one....a Phoenix maybe?
Not sure about this one….a Phoenix maybe?

Larry has a number of other goodies on the grounds.  His is one of those “MUST SEE” places on the back roads of America.  He is a nice, humble man doing what he loves and loving how his work impacts others in a positive way.  I am happy to have had the opportunity to meet Larry Vennard and I hope many of my readers will get the same opportunity!!

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Sumoflam

Travelographer Extraordinaire. I Enjoy the Ride by traveling and seeing the world around me. We are so busy speeding down the freeways of life that we miss out on the back roads and all the wonderful little stories that every place offers. So, I try to take the less beaten paths and see the real world. I have visited all 50 United States and many provinces in Canada, nearly all prefectures in Japan as well as Seaul, Korea, Shanghai and Suzhou, China and Cenu, Philippines. Also been to Mexico. Father of five, grandfather of 10 and happily married to my sweetheart for nearly 38 years. Fluent in Japanese. Happy and well traveled. See details at http://www.sumoflam.biz/SumoflamBio.htm

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