It is the second largest canyon in the United States, closest in size to the Grand Canyon. I was fortunate to have a private tour from a long time resident and Amarillo artist. On the edge of the canyon, rested an abandoned homestead with some gorgeously rusted vehicles, and languishing signs from Amarillo’s infamous Stanley Marsh (he funded the famous Cadillac Ranch art project). Stanley is quoted as saying, “Art is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well.” I like that.
Among the sites I was able to visit was the earthwork known as the Amarillo Ramp by Robert Smithson. Smithson created this piece around 1973. It was his last project as he tragically died in a plane crash while surveying his art, he is most famously known for his Spiral Jetty in Utah. Visiting the site of his untimely death, was a strange and poignant experience.
I was inspired by the raw open spaces of the panhandle; its sometimes bleak and brilliant light and pleasantly surprised by its rich art history.