© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas folk artist M.T. Liggett is more than his eccentric 'character' in a new documentary

A man with a camera on a tripod stands on a cloudy prairie. Metal sculptures of animals stand along a fence line behind him.
Joshua Dubois
Courtesy of Joshua Dubois
"It Started With A Horse" is a documentary that examines the life of western Kansas folk artist M.T. Liggett.

"It Started With A Horse," which is scheduled to screen at the Kansas City Underground Film Festival, provides an intimate look into the eccentric and unapologetic folk artist M.T. Liggett, whose sculptures can be seen outside Mullinville, Kansas.

Those who drive through Mullinville, Kansas, population 197, might not remember the town. But they probably remember the miles of metal sculptures that line U.S. 400 just outside of it.

Those totems and whirligigs are the work of eccentric folk artist M.T. Liggett. He's the subject of "It Started With A Horse," a documentary by Kansas City filmmaker Joshua Dubois. The documentary, filmed over the course of 20 years, aims to tell the "true story" of Liggett, who died in 2017.

Other media, Dubois said, never got past the eccentric "character" that Liggett put on.

"He was much much different than that," Dubois said. "We spent so much time with him that that character wore off on in the film and what emerged was this brilliant man who had experienced so many things in life."

The film won Best Kansas Feature at the Tallgrass Film Festival in 2022.

  • Joshua Dubois, director, "It Started With A Horse"

"It Started With A Horse" will screen Friday, September 15, at the Kansas City Underground Film Festival, located at the Charlotte Street Foundation. Tickets are free. The film is also available on YouTube.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an Up To Date producer, I aim to create a space for Kansas Citians to come together for curious and inspired conversations about the region we call home. I want to help find answers to big questions, shine a light on local change makers and break down complex issues people need to know about. Email me at hallejackson@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.