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.
- 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.
- The print photos will be taken by J. Alan Paul Photography. If you are interested in seeing some of the photos that would represent the style of the rewards, check our his website or head over to his Facebook page.
- This next sculpture will be the eighth of Gary's instillation, among this the others are: The Tin Family (1991), Teddy Rides Again (1993), Pheasants on the Prairie (1996), Grasshoppers in the Field (1999), Geese in Flight (2001), Deer Crossing (2002), and Fisherman's Dream (2006).
- The Goal
- 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.
- We 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. We are obviously hoping to raise as much money as possible with Kickstarter because we 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 we are looking to push him over the edge and get to his final goal of raising $60,000.
- Buzz around the Highway
- In 2001 The Guinness Book of World Records recorded "Geese In Flight" as the world's largest scrap-metal sculpture measuring 110 feet tall, 154 feet wide, and weighing 157,659 pounds.
- The Enchanted Highway is North Dakota's most prominent folk art instillation, making appearances is places such as Delta Sky Magazine, USA Today, and trailers for the FX series "Fargo".
People around North Dakota and the Midwest have also taken notice of the Enchanted Highway, here's what they had to say,
"Gary's work has captured my imagination and challenged me to think about what is possible in the world. Never before has an artist and his work moved me in such a powerful way. The Enchanted Highway is not only breath taking, its a symbol for what is good in this world. " - Greg Tehven, CEO and Co-founder of Emerging Prairie.
“I heard Gary tell his story and he started with ‘I came home to help save my town’ and I knew this was someone I had to meet. He had no experience in welding or art, but his passion for the prairies of North Dakota and small town living shine through." - Deb Brown, Executive Director of the Webster City, Iowa Chamber of Commerce.
"Every once in a while you meet someone, a misfit, someone who has different ideas, someone who is really putting a dent in the universe in crazy and unique way... [Gary] found a strength in the community and he combined it with a passion to save his community." - Scott Meyer, Co-founder of 9Clouds and Co-author of Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide.
Maintenance and Posterity
- The Enchanted Highway is maintained by Enchanted Highway Inc, a 501c3 that decides how to manage the highway and when to do maintenance on the sculptures. About once ever year the Enchanted Highway Board preforms maintenance on the sculptures and makes sure that the sculptures are in a good condition. The board also serves the purpose of making sure that the Enchanted Highway will be here in the future for newer generations to enjoy.
We would really like to thank you for checking out our Kickstarter. The Enchanted Highway was created to save what appeared to be a community about to disappear. With your help you are making a direct impact on the community of Regent, and we think that is really something special. Please like our Facebook page and share this project with your friends. With your help, we can aid Gary in the creation of a new sculpture to represent North Dakota and protect his town. So on behalf of all of our team, we would like to thank you immensely for your support!
Risks and challenges
Creating these sculptures take a lot of time, often times years. We have purposely based our rewards around the existing sculptures so that we don't run into the problem of not having anything to offer until the new sculpture is created.
While also spending time creating these sculptures Gary also works full time as the owner of the Enchanted Castle, Regent's premier hotel. Having to make a living can really draw back on one's passions, you know? Gary must balance his time between his work and his job, and making time to work on something that doesn't bring in cash directly can be difficult.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)