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Route 66 News

Artist offers to paint over Stanley Marsh 3’s whimsical signs

A local artist has offered to paint over the whimsical road signs erected years ago in the Amarillo area by the criminally indicted Stanley Marsh 3, according to a report by KFDA-TV in Amarillo.

The station says about a dozen sign owners, including Glenda Daniels, have accepted artist Jacob Morin’s offer:

The man best know for creating Cadillac Ranch, Stanley Marsh 3, is also responsible for creating and placing those bizarre road signs all around town years ago.  Over time, Marsh’s name was dirtied with lawsuit after lawsuit claiming he sexually abused young boys.  A negative image, Glenda felt, that read louder than the words on her sign.

“The situation with Stanley Marsh,” she said. “All of the background and all of his problems and I just didn’t want anything with connection in my yard to him.”

Others declined to have the signs covered over.

Jan Douglass has had her sign for some 18 years, she even met Stanley Marsh when they came out to put it up.

“It was a real iconic thing to have one of those signs and so we were just real pleased just to always have it,” said Douglass.

For her, Marsh’s misfortune has nothing to do with the signs left behind. They’re Amarillo’s art, for the community and the world.

“People have stopped by, take pictures of them. I talked to them, mostly tourists,” said Douglass. “People hear about them all over the world and I think it’s something that makes us a little unique.”

Here’s the video report from the station:

KFDA – NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Not many people know this, but the whimsical signs — some of which are found on Route 66 — are called the Dynamite Museum. According to an archived report in the Amarillo Globe-News, the project started in the early 1990s with a solitary “Road Does Not End” sign. The newspaper says thousands of these signs — no two are the same — are sprinkled all over the region.

Of course, Marsh is best-known for his Cadillac Ranch art installation, located off Route 66 west of town. Marsh is out on bail on multiple counts of sex-abuse charges, allegedly with teenage boys.

I have very mixed feelings about this. If the charges against Marsh are true, it’s understandable some owners of the signs look at them with revulsion and would want them modified, if not removed altogether.

But the Dynamite Museum also is public art, and such artwork tends to become the people’s artwork over time and not the creator’s. As Douglass says, they help make Amarillo unique. I’m hoping not too many people take up Morin’s offer.

UPDATE 7/11/2013: KAMR-TV in Amarillo says Marsh’s people will remove the signs if the owners don’t want them anymore:

Toad Hall representatives would not comment on the story, saying only that if people want to get rid of the signs in their yards to call them at 359-1014, and they’ll remove them free of charge….. But, they would prefer not having them painted-over.

(Image of one of the Dynamite Museum signs in Amarillo, by Brandon Carpenter via Flickr)

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10 thoughts on “Artist offers to paint over Stanley Marsh 3’s whimsical signs

  1. Beth

    I agree…they should not paint over these. He may really be a horrid person, but those are still original artworks and should be treated as such. Can you imagine if the Catholic church had condemned Michelangelo for his homosexuality and painted over the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Not that Marsh is Michelangelo, but it’s still his art.

  2. MR Traska

    The Catholic Church *did* put a lot of fig leaves on statuary ove the years … but prudes who defile art come in all denominations. Marsh may suck, but the art is a separate issue — and as far as the Cadillac Ranch is concerned, that was the work of the Ant Farm art collective; March merely paid for it.

  3. DynoDave

    I guess we are ALL fortunate to live in a country where we can hold diverse opinions on a wide variety of topics.

    As for Jan Douglass referring to Mr. Marsh’s current legal trouble as “misfortune”…I wonder if she had suffered abuse at the hands of someone, if she would consider their prosecution a misfortune?

    I cannot consider “art a separate issue”. If the “art” in question is closely tied to or associated with someone, I cannot think of the 2 separately. I would not, could not have an original Hitler hanging in my home, but he did paint so fairly benign, average watercolors. But there is no way I could ever look at a painting of his without thinking of the man behind them. The same is true for me with the projects Mr. Marsh has been a part of over the years.

    Why anyone would want to publicly display the efforts of someone known for the great hurt he has caused others is beyond me. But if this were my property, that sign would be gone. Destroyed. Recycled and sent to China. I could never, in good conscience, leave a sign on my property that I knew would bring up hurtful memories for the local residents abused by Mr. Marsh.

    If you consider them art, and want to collect them and display them somewhere, where victims are not forced to see them, that would be your affair. But leaving them on public display is, in my opinion, wrong.

    1. Ron Warnick Post author

      I understand your viewpoint, Dave. I think the big wildcard, however, is Marsh hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. So to call his indictment a “misfortune” might well be an accurate one if he’s acquitted.

      Charges against him before haven’t held up. The same thing might happen here.

  4. DynoDave

    Absolutely Ron. The man is due his day in court. I was having this conversation at work the other day with folks who were pleased with all the actions the Patriots had taken against Aaron Hernandez….before he’d been found guilty of anything. I thought it was all a little premature.

  5. seth vincent

    Stanley Marsh is simply a patron to these art instalments and has funded traveling artist and local artist for years. The dynamite museum signs and cadillac ranch are creative and unique elements to amarillo art history attracting travelers and tourists of all kinds. I can understand the controversy of his image and involvement but to dismantle or deface these works of public art would be enormous disrespect not to Marsh but to the contubuting artist ,the public, and the amarillo art community. As for jacob morin he is a faux artist who,s intentions are to gain public notoriety through the Marsh scandal media so he may continue to exploit art in the name of personal and financial gain. If ANY artist out there condones these poorly designed and applied trash ass no-talent no-skill stencil cover up attempts compaired to the existing work i would question thier validity as an artist as well. *citizen and local artist

    1. sassy

      And once you pay for a piece of his art, completely, in full, he continues to try to sell it at a higher price, he repeatedly made excuses why he couldn’t deliver or me pick up my daughter’s painting, then found out it was because he was still listing it as for sell
      When I questioned him as to why he would do this, especially with his high “Christian” values I was blocked and he refuses to talk to me or give me my receipt or

  6. missouri66

    I am revolted by molestation but he did not physically paint the signs, he only commissioned them. That makes a difference to me, it might not to others.

  7. Team Goodtimes

    “he merely paid for it” , “only commissioned them” , thankfully someone did, and in a world where most millionaire douch bags are just that, and spend all their money on themselves, this Kooky petterass choose to spend his money on creating beautiful art to share with his community, and I for one am so very thankful. What have you done to make something beautiful today? I think anyone who is trying to offer services of defacing these original pieces of someone’s art like this Jacob Morin is a bell end.

  8. Pingback: Dolcefino Starts Campaign Against Marsh 3 Signs | Glasstire Texas

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