It is said that “Art imitates Life”, which we have found to often be the case. Of course, then you happen upon a place like Rancho Deluxe, which leaves you in awe of the imaginative powers of the human mind. During our exploration of Mason City, we did a lot of walking. The city is ripe for pedestrian traffic, as the topography is relatively flat. Our art excursion was providing us with tons of sights and when we learned of this sidestreet discovery, we just had to make the short detour. 

We want to thank Visit Mason City for hosting our visit. Rest assured all opinions are our own. 

The entrance to rancho Deluxe is easily identifiable at the end of this residential street.

Welcome to the Jungle

As we approached Rancho Deluxe, it stood out from the rest of the neighborhood. This green space is vibrantly decorated with an assembly of brightly colored artifacts. Rows of pennants directed us to the entrance of this unusual art installation.

Rancho Deluxe is a sidestreet discovery that involves tons of homegrown art.

Color Us Surprised

As we wandered around Rancho Deluxe, it was clear that the main theme was color. Large concrete blocks were stacked in a loose maze design. This meant that as we meandered, the landscape was constantly changing. It was interesting to see the various designs that had been added to the mix.

Stacked concrete blocks formed a makeshift maze covered with unusual artwork.

Don’t Block Us In

Stepping back from the maze, we found that there was no real cohesive theme to the mini-murals. It almost felt like each had been decorated at a different location and then assembled in a haphazard manner. The artwork ranged from simplistic geometric patterns all the way to intricate pictures that portrayed current events. Many of the pieces had an obvious connection to Mason City, like The Music Man theme represented by the band member marching with a trombone.

A patriotic exhibit showed the flexibility of the local artist.

Lots of Variety

While the concrete blocks take up a substantial part of the property, that is not the only artwork at the site. A garden-type setting has a variety of smaller sculptures, created from various found items. It is easy to find yourself mesmerized by the assembly of these creations, that time seems to stand still. Before long, we were making notes of the individual items that were used to construct these statuaries. On the fringe of the property, we found this patriotic display. Much like the other installations, this one was an eclectic collection of materials that were repurposed into this monument.

The authors pose in front of one of the many sculptures that can be found in Mason City, Iowa.

Sidestreet Discovery

Mason City was proving to be a very artistic city. Throughout town, we discovered a broad range of artwork. Being a pedestrian-friendly destination, the addition of outdoor sculptures and art installations makes wandering the streets even more enjoyable. With lots of delicious meals on our itinerary, and maybe a sweet treat or two, we were loving the idea of walking off some calories. Do you like to park and walk when exploring new destinations?

the authors signatures.

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