We've all been driving through various parts of Michigan when we come across an old dilapidated barn, sitting all alone out in a desolate field. Some of these old barns are throwbacks to the 1800s farming days, many of them falling apart and close to collapsing.

The Michigan Thumb town of Port Austin and the surrounding countryside in Huron County have become saviors of their local old antique barns. Instead of risking becoming local eyesores, they are turning into works of art.

The 'Ten Barns in Ten Years' project is saving these old barns by restoration, painting, and re-building into standing artworks, thanks to various artists.

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One such barn has a mural called “American Gothic with Gas Masks”.  The classic 'American Gothic' painting has been updated where the farmer and his wife are each wearing gas masks. Another side of the barn is graced by “Walden”, a painting of a huge blue & white pigeon. With the elements fading the paint, it might be time for a touchup. You can find this barn at 52 Stoddard Road in Port Austin.

Then there is the Emergency Ark barn. This is cool. It has also been called The Barnboat and The Celestial Ship of the North. Passing by on the road, some motorists may think it looks like a pair of devil horns sticking out of the field! The wood planks from this 1800s barn have been removed and restructured by artist Scott Hocking, making this once-endangered barn into a completely new and unique piece of cornfield artwork. Location for this one is 3598 Fehner Road.

Now comes the Secret Sky Barn, 'sculpted' by Catie Newell. She cut a pie slice out of this 100-year-old barn making a “walkable portal taking the visitor from one side to the other. When you walk through, you can’t see inside the barn. The portal is sealed all the way to the top”. Ya gotta see this at dusk...occasionally solar powered lights shimmer inside and makes it quite the sight to see. The address is 5201 N. Pinnebog Road in Kinde.

WOW...great roadtrip stuff here! There is more barn art to come in the Michigan Thumb.....check out the Barn Art Project website here!



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