Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Swetsville Zoo

We had chance to stop by the Swetsville Zoo and here are a couple of photos I took.

Folk Art: Swetsville Zoo

Field review by the editors.
Fort Collins,Colorado

"Bill Swets used to be a farmer. Now he's a zookeeper -- except that his zoo has no living creatures. The animals in the "Swetsville Zoo" were all built by Bill -- from car parts, farm machinery, and scrap metal.
Bill is a soft spoken man with a ready smile, and totally self-trained when it comes to his creative pursuits. "To be a farmer, you've got to be able to fabricate metal," he tells us. He is hard of hearing these days, but still hard at work. When we arrived he was up on a farm building roof, wrestling with a repair.

"I started putting them out in the yard, and people stopped to see. It kept growing and growing..." After a couple of years Bill numbered his huge collection of sculptures. The self-guided tour sheet lists 43; now there are over 160.Bill started creating metal creatures in 1985 -- a shovel-beaked bird with bicycle frame body, "just a hobby that became more than just a little."
The stubby yellow and white turrets and drawbridge of a "castle," the Swets' home, stand near the entrance to the Zoo. Most of the zoo is arranged along a winding wooded path around the property.
There are little, bread machine-sized imps standing next to large mechanical contraptions -- cartoon train engines, towering dinosaurs and futuristic spaceship vehicles. A bright red motorcycle equipped with jet propulsion looks like it could be taken out for a spin."

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