by Jim Grawe
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
7:34 PM CDT, November 3, 2011
Signs you find in Lucas give a good indication that there's something different about the town. Those indications are confirmed when you meet residents like Mri-Pilar
"I work with recycled materials and gems and feathers and embellishments that add to what other people throw away. I use a lot of car parts and old antique computer boards," Pilar said. She uses an old house as her studio. "Even though it looks like there wouldn't be room here for one more thing I always find a place for new work," she said. Although she can no longer live in the house herself, because her artwork took over.
Pilar is one of the many grassroots artists who have gravitated to Lucas. It's a tradition that started decades ago but some very creative local people. "Creating with something that doesn't cost you any money to start with is a key component of a grassroots artist," said Roz Schultz. Roz is the director of the Grassroots Arts Center in Lucas.
She says a grassroots artist is also someone who is self-trained. "They learn by doing," she said. And what they do is often a bit unconventional. Much of that work is showcased at the art center on Main Street. "This happens to be the work of Betty Milikan who we met at 91-years-old. She started creating these cameo portraits out of chewing gum when she was 20 years old," Schultz said. And then there's Inez Marshal, who carved things out of solid limestone. The art center also displays a motorcycle and car made out of nothing but pull tabs from old fashioned cans.
The next big project for the Grassroots Arts Center is bowl plaza. That's where artists will create what they say is the world's biggest toilet. "We need a public restroom. When people come here and if they have to go, there's really no place to go," said artist Eric Abraham.
The real restrooms will be inside the giant one. "Right here will be the seating area and the drain will be in the middle. You'll come up the sidewalk and the sidewalk will go around the seating area and it'll go out to this slab over here which will have the world's largest roll of toilet paper on it," he said. It's a new twist on the town's established theme, which is goes to show why Lucas is 'One of a Kind'.
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