Canvas work

Hit Route 66 with Giganticus Headicus

I was having lunch with my friend Jim who asked me if I had ever heard of Giganticus Headicus.

While putting another fry in my mouth, I shook my head. “Not sure about that, and not sure if it’s really a thing.”

Jim often asks me if I saw this or that while I was traveling.

Jim also travels a lot. Its main thoroughfare is the “Mother Road” or the “Will Rogers Highway, or the” Main Street of America “- all three are also known as Route 66. He has seen a lot in his travels. years on Route 66. At last count, I believe Jim told me that he has driven Route 66 approximately 3,000 times from Santa Monica to Chicago. This makes Jim an expert in what is and what is not on Route 66.

“So what is a Giganticus Headicus?” “

“It’s a great work of art, created by Gregg Arnold,” Jim replied.

” Where is it situated ? “

“At Antares Point,” he said. “You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? “

I nodded. “Of course, this is the bar where Luke Skywalker meets Hans Solo and Chewie.”

It turns out that Antares Point is in a small village called Antares about 20 miles northeast of Kingman, Arizona. Antares began, like many villages, as a siding for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1883. The tracks at this point take a large curve in their design as the rails head south toward Kingman.

In 1910, after the National Old Trails Highway passed through the area, the village was incorporated into Antares. In 1926, Route 66 blazed along the railroad tracks and the area became a stopover for visitors heading north or south through this part of Arizona.

There is more to this tiny shepherd than just a fuel stop, including over 6,000 mining claims in the nearby hills, where copper, gold, lead and silver have been found in abundance. . The village of Antares takes its name from the star in the constellation Scorpio. The word means ‘Rival of Mars’, in reference to the reddish hue of the hills created by the copper found therein.

Although most mines are now closed, there are still more than 200 active in and around the Hualapai Valley, where Antares is located.

I found this research to be quite interesting, as I do most of my research – unless it comes to how to remove a dog stain from a living room rug.

Welcome to Antares Point.

It also turns out that a small stop along Route 66 called Antares Point is worth a visit. Owned by Gregg Arnold and his wife, Alie Reynolds-Arnold, this is a small A-frame building that offers visitors the opportunity to grab a snack, a drink, and view impressive artwork.

Gregg and Alie are world famous artists and have their studio, the Antares Art Studio, in Kingman. Alie is known for her work in many forms of art media, acrylics, oils and whatever great artists use to slap a canvas to express their deepest creativity. Gregg, meanwhile, mainly deals with metal work. His metal sculptures appear around the world, and the more detailed they are, the better. Some of his work is on display and for sale at Antares Point.

“Gregg will unveil a new metal sculpture there in two weeks. “

“It sounds like an adventure for me,” I said to Jim.

And it was.

As I turned the bend just south of the village of Antares, my eyes fell on a huge green sculpture resembling a tiki god – Giganticus Headicus – to the left of the A-frame visitor center for Antares Point .

I must have parked quite a distance on a company dirt road as around 200 people were flocking to unveil Arnold’s latest creation. I don’t know if they were grinding, to be honest – I’m not even sure what that really means.

“I was just circling around.”

“Well, I grinded better than you. “

Watch your speed at Antares Point.

There was a motor show with beautiful rides, and people walked around speechless in admiration or jealousy. There was a group playing near the outdoor benches and awnings. And a man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs – no, that’s the lyrics to a song by the band, Chicago.

Regardless, it was crowded, and everyone was having fun while waiting for the blue tarps to be removed from the latest piece of art created by Gregg Arnold.

But back to his most famous work: Giganticus Headicus. It’s huge: a 14ft cement head that looks like it’s buried chin-up into the ground.

At that moment, the artist himself approached me. “What do you think?”

“It’s big and green,” I replied.

Arnold smiles. “Yes it does, and this is the first time I’ve used concrete in any of my artwork. Using concrete was a new medium for me, but it worked.

Not being a big consumer of art, apart from buying a few paintings of dogs playing cards, I asked what inspired him for this project.

“I thought about it while sleeping one night,” he replied. “I woke up and hastily noted the drawing. It was like an obsession with me. I am sure I am a writer. You are probably waking up in the middle of the night with something important on your mind.

I nodded but didn’t answer. The only time I get up in the middle of the night is to find the nearest restroom.

“For the whole month it took to finish it, that was all I could think of. I was obsessed and exhausted both physically and emotionally once I finished it.

Gregg is a passionate artist. He created the big tiki head project at Kingman’s studio, then transported it to the Antares Point site.

“I wanted something that would catch the eye of a person passing by on route 66. It did the trick, and they stop, and I can talk with them about the importance of art and also of the magnificence of this road. “

Before the unveiling at Antares Point.

Then the subject turned to his latest artistic project.

“What will be revealed? ” I asked.

“You will have to wait and see,” he said with a smile.

Taking my leave of Gregg, I walked into the visitor’s center and marveled at the artwork lining the counters and shelves around the rooms. Small rooms, medium rooms, and some large pieces of metal art were amazing in all their detail. As I walked through the store, I saw art magazine after art magazine with stories about this creative craftsman.

Of course, there were also books, photographs, signs and other Route 66 memorabilia for sale and snacks and drinks for visitors.

As I walked out of the store after purchasing something, Gregg stood on the front porch of the establishment. I asked him how he got his inspiration from such a diverse array of works of art.

“My art comes to me. I don’t know how or why, but it is.

Latest creation by artist Gregg Arnold at Antares Point.

As Gregg is a successful artist, his imagination must be overworked most of the time.

While waiting for the unveiling, I took care of chatting with auto enthusiasts, Route 66 enthusiasts, art enthusiasts and enthusiasm enthusiasts.

“I’m really excited to be here,” said one lady.

It was suddenly time for the reveal – time flies when everyone is excited.

The new steel structure, which stands 16 feet high, sits in the northwestern portion of the property, as Gregg intended, so anyone traveling on Route 66 should be able to see it right away. As if anyone driving wouldn’t first see a giant green-headed tiki god in the front yard of Antares Point.

This can slow a driver down a bit.

Gregg climbed onto a concrete platform in front of the sheeted stature, microphone in hand, and spoke to the large crowd gathered around.

He explained very eloquently why and how he created the work of art.

“This metal statue must be the guardian of Route 66,” he said. “I wanted something very special and meaningful for everyone who travels on this beautiful route. I also wished that he would represent the strength of our wonderful nation and that he would stand with all who served and continue to serve him, whatever their occupations.

At that moment the tarps fell, revealing a very beautiful metal statue of a woman holding a shield, a crown and carrying an American flag.

The crowd’s reaction was overwhelming with applause, cheers and other loud noises of approval.

I looked at the whole situation, the people, the artwork and the place, and realized that not only was Gregg a very accomplished artist, but his love for this country was palpable.

Definitely worth sharing right now along Route 66 at Antares Point.

Contact John R. Beyer at [email protected]

Artist Gregg Arnold in front of his latest creation.