If you’ve ever walked down Atwood Avenue on Madison’s east side, you have likely encountered the work of Sid Boyum, namely his sometimes abstract and sometimes playful concrete sculptures. Boyum was a prolific artist and a well-known neighborhood eccentric on the east side until his death in 1991. He was involved in other important works of outsider art in Wisconsin, helping to create the House on The Rock near spring Green and collaborating with fellow sculptor Dr. Evermor.
In the summer of 2015, a group of Madisonians began an effort to preserve Boyum’s work, and his east side house, which has mostly sat neglected since his death and had been repossessed by Dane County for back taxes. Over time they’ve formed a non-profit, called Friends of Sid Boyum, and even acquired the house.
Friends of Sid Boyum president Brian Standing joined me recently to discuss the progress the group has made and what the future might hold for the house and the number of large concrete sculptures embedded in the backyard. Full disclosure: Standing is also a host at WORT, where we record this podcast, and we’ve collaborated on a couple of stories in the past.