One never knows what you might stumble upon when just driving down the road. We found both of these free art places in Washington state. Being people who recycle, it was interesting to see that the artists were repurposing items in their art work.
Recycled Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park – located in Elbe, WA on our way to Mount Rainier National Park.
This park is a random collection of animals, monsters, motorcycles and other sculptures – all wrought from the imagination and materials found by the artist Dan Klenert.
Klenert has worked for years to create this sculpture park, with his yard as his canvas – his tools are his imagination, welding skills and junk others have discarded or forgotten. His material is anything he finds ranging from rusty metal to animal skulls & jawbones, driftwood or “junk”. Dan scours abandoned farms and junkyards for much of the material.
If you visit the sculpture park and see a gruff-looking fellow with a cowboy hat and handlebar moustache that is Dan. He is surprising soft-spoken with a sense of humor and a clear passion for art.
In talking with Dan, he pointed out that art is not always “pretty”. The purpose of art is not only make “something” from “nothing” or create beauty – it can also invite and inspire one to think.
If you liked the sculpture park, be sure to make a donation.
Dick & Jane’s Spot – located in Ellensburg, WA. This an art site and a home. Artist Dick Elliot and his artist wife Jane Orleman started this one-of-a-kind outdoor gallery outside their home and has been a work in progress.
It all began around 1980 when Dick and Jane (who also had a dog named Spot at the time) started creating pieces to jazz up the outside of their home, which was boarded up and dilapidated when they purchased it a couple of years earlier.
Dick and Jane made most of the art, but also collected art from over 40 Northwest folk artists.
One of the more risque pieces in the yard is “Big Red” – a topless pink woman with a road reflector face and nipples. Jane had made it for friends in Seattle, but Dick liked it so much he put it in the front yard instead. “Big Red” was initially frowned upon by the Ellensburg Arts Commission, mayor and police. Jane would point out to folks that it wasn’t a naked woman, but rather a telephone pole with reflectors.
Dick passed away in 2008, but Jane still lives in the home and works on her art in her studio. When we were there, we didn’t talk with Jane, but rather saw her back her car out of the garage.