Stan Herd Artwork in Kansas

A Stone Head

A large stone “Ancient Man” statue by artist Stan Herd in a park in Parsons, Kansas

A large stone “Ancient Man” sculpture is found in a park in Parsons, Kansas, as seen on one of our recent journeys.

On our travels back and forth on the highways of Kansas, I had noticed a large sculpture of some sort whenever we would pass through the city of Parsons. “One of these days, we should stop and check that out,” I thought to myself on several of those occasions. On our last trip as we were taking Jaylin back to college after his spring break, we needed to stop and rest for a bit, and this park looked to be a good place to get out and walk around.

The sculpture that we could see from the road turned out to be “Ancient Man” by Stan Herd. A nearby stone had the following quote from the artist: “My hope is that the sculpture will create a dialogue about the early history of the region and the first people who lived here.” Unfortunately, we did not live up to that, as we discussed the artwork more than the ancient people. Sorry about that.

A large stone “Ancient Man” statue by artist Stan Herd in a park in Parsons, Kansas

We had never heard of Herd, but another nearby stone gave some information about Stan Herd. He was born in Protection, Kansas, and is particularly known for crop art in addition to water colors and paintings, and sculptures such as these. Crop art is where you create art out of crops in the field, so that the art can be seen from the sky. Pretty cool!

And a Turtle

A large stone “Turtle Island” statue by artist Stan Herd in a park in Parsons, Kansas

Another sculpture in this park was this giant turtle, titled “Turtle Island.” From the nearby sign: “Turtle Island, according to some indigenous groups, is the name of North America. Lenape and Iroquois oral histories tell of the creation of land when the earth was covered with water. Dirt placed on the back of the “Great Turtle” grew into the North American continent.” History and art, all in one place!

Large stone “Ancient Man” and “Turtle Island” sculptures by artist Stan Herd are found in a park in Parsons, Kansas.

We enjoyed seeing this unique artwork while stretching our legs for a few minutes during our day of driving. It is always fun to see something new and learn a little bit of history, too. Those are just the kinds of things that we enjoy!

What Is Art?

As you may know, I create a bit of art from time to time and share it here. For me, art is just a way of creating something fun, perhaps unique, sometimes humorous, and then sharing it with the world through this website. But beyond that, my art does not usually have an important purpose.

However, others are able to use art to teach you about something. How many times have you had a better understanding of a historical event due to a piece of art, such as Washington crossing the Delaware? Or perhaps you have been given the desire to learn more about a group of people because of its art.

Just like art can have so many forms, art can also have so many uses. Use your art in whatever way you see fit. It might even be helpful to others, too.

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. - 2 Corinthians 13:11

About the Photos

As you might guess, I enhanced these photos slightly with Luminar Neo. The main enhancements were to make things look even more colorful than they looked in the photos. The bright sun that day was a blessing, and we were happy to be able to be warm and enjoy the sun as we walked. But the sunlight also washed out the colors in the photos. Fortunately, I was able to bring back that color and make everything look like how it looked in person.

Of course, there is always a possibility that I remember things more colorful than they actually are. And in that case, my photos might not quite reflect reality. So let’s just call the photos art, too. Because they are.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar Neo. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: March 19, 2022
Location: ParsonsKansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.