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Community steps in when Boone County 'sculpture farm' needed sprucing up

Ernie Taylor's decadeslong art project has brought joy to many. He's been concerned recently that he wasn't able to keep up with maintenance.

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. — Ernie Taylor's work has brought joy to so many over the years.

People driving by his farm off State Road 32 often stop to take pictures of Taylor's large metal creations. 13News visited with him as the community steps in to help him spruce things up.

The effort - and the result - is Inspiring Indiana.

A fresh coat of paint is freshening up an eclectic display that started 60 years ago on Taylor's farm.

"It wasn't any big plan," he said. "I just started doing things and here it is, you know."

Taylor welded all of the sculptures. Birds, dinosaurs, a globe and more - all for the fun of it.

Credit: WTHR

"I just look in my junk pile and see things in there and I make stuff, mostly out of somebody else's junk," said Taylor

He bought the property near Zionsville in his early 30s. Over time, it became quite an attraction.

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"We never sold anything, never charged anything, never took any donations," he said. "We just did it for the pleasure of others."

At 94 years old, the maintenance became a bit much for Taylor.

"It worries me when I see metal getting all rusted up, you know, and eventually it just eat the metal up," Taylor said.

A conversation about the sculptures on social media led to more than 200 people showing up for cleaning up. Area companies donated supplies for the effort.

"The idea was really just to start with those dinosaurs," said JJ Darr. "I mean, if you ask somebody, 'Have you seen the dinosaurs on 32?' that's kind of what this property is known for, and they certainly needed the maintenance. There were some rust going on. And then the globe, right? And as we're seeing more and more volunteers come out, we're thinking, 'Well shoot, let's get as many like primary colors as we can, then let's divide and conquer and see how much of this we can get painted.' And so I think we've got a real shot to get the majority of it done today."

Credit: WTHR

Taylor was moved by the kindness.

RELATED: Boone County man transforms metal into art

"I'm so blessed and it blows my mind," he said. "I couldn't hardly believe it until I seen paint going on. The older I get, the more that I think that, 'Ahh, good people is what life is all about,' you know?"

"A lot of people have a lot of different ideas about a lot of things, but at the end of the day when you can come together and say, 'Hey how can we help each other as a community?' you have wonderful things that happen," said Adenike Makinde, a volunteer from Westfield.

 "I'm blessed and I'm thankful," said Taylor. "Life is good."

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