Instagram post by @gerdludwig Gerd Ludwig

In 2004, on assignment for @natgeo, I spent time with Leonard Knight, a former Vermont welder, handyman, guitar teacher and painter. The renaissance man’s folk-art masterpiece was his coloring and reshaping of the desert landscape using adobe, straw and thousands of gallons of donated paint. Since he began painting this mountainside near Niland in the early 1980s, his creation, "Salvation Mountain", has been visited by thousands of people. He has been recognized as an important naïve artist and the The Folk Art Society of America has declared his mountain a national folk art shrine. Ministers had asked to preach there, but Knight turned them down. “My mountain speaks good enough for itself’” he said. He passed away 4 years ago, but dedicated friends keep his life’s work alive. On Sunday I will take 10 workshop students down to California’s Salton Sea, an area I first encountered nearly two decades ago and where I returned to photograph over and over again ever since. Salvation Mountain will be one of our assignments.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative #SalvationMountain #LeonardKnight #folkart #Niland #SaltonSea

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