Exploring self-made worlds

Doctor Evermor’s Forevertron art.

ERIKA NELSON/Contributed

Exploring self-made worlds

The Wormfarm Institute will host a two-part event in September exploring self-made art environments in Wisconsin and beyond.

The first at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Woolen Mill Gallery, 28 E Main St., Reedsburg, features explorer and artist Erika Nelson from Lucas, Kansas. She will take participants on a whirlwind trip through self-made art environments built by people with an all-consuming vision. Often built out of recycled and repurposed materials, these sites are wonderlands of invention, sculpture and assemblage, often taking over the maker’s life and property in over-the-top constructions that awe and amaze. From Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron in North Freedom to Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain in Niland, California, Nelson will discuss these multi-colored labyrinthine man-made art structures at this free event.

Then from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 she will lead a guided tour of Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron, located about 8 miles south of Baraboo on Highway 12. Attendees will meet there to learn about the Forevertron, the world’s largest sculpture made of scrap iron, and hear the fascinating story of Tom Every, former industrial salvager and his transformation to Dr. Evermor. Lady Elanor Every, Dr. Evermor’s wife and caretaker of the site, will be available to answer questions. Tickets for the tour are $8 and will be available on site, or can be purchased in advance at wormfarminstitute.org/event/forevertron.

Nelson has investigated, documented and cataloged self-built worlds, vernacular architecture and monumental art for the past 15 years.