show

John Foster

Exploring Art Environments


Have you ever driven past what you consider to be an “art environment?” Sometimes it’s as simple as a highly decorated yard, a “bathtub Madonna,” or something outside of what most people call a “normal”  neighborhood front yard. Usually, these idiosyncratic decorations will make you take a second look. And if you have ever turned around to take that second look — you just might like the website and organization called SPACES.

SPACES is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) public benefit organization that was incorporated in 1978 for the purposes of identifying, documenting, and advocating for the preservation of large-scale art environments. Founding director Seymour Rosen conceived of SPACES as a national (and, later, an international) organization; currently operating out of offices in northern California, it boasts an archives of approximately 25,000 photographs as well as numerous books, articles, audio and video tapes/DVDs, and artists’ documents.

There is a lot to explore on this website. Artistic environments in the U.S. and across the globe (photos and documentation) are being added every week, so check it out. 



Tool Fence by Ted Townsend (1889-1970)
Hennessey, OK
Non-Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen


Ed Galloway (1880-1963), Totem Pole Park
Claremore, OK
Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen


Walker Rock Garden
Milton and Florence Walker
Seattle, WA
Status Unknown
Photo by Seymour Rosen


Annie Hooper (1897-1986), Bible Stories
Hatteras, NC
Non-Extant (objects held in Archives of NC State University)
Photo by Seymour Rosen


Antoni Macià Cassany (aka Casany) (1918 – 2007), Zoo Empordà
Girona, Spain
Threatened
Photo by Jo Farb Hernàndez


Home of Antonio Goncalves, b. 1938
Bridgeport, CT
Extant
Photo by Fred Scruton


Brother Bronislaus Luszcz, Black Madonna Shrine
Pacific, MO
Extant
Photo by Jo Farb Hernàndez (1974)


Calvin (1903-1972) & Ruby Black (1915-1980), Possum Trot
Barstow-Victorville Area, California
Non Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen


John Milkovisch (1912 - 1988)
Houston, TX
Extant
Photo by Lisa Stone


Harvey Smith Ladew II (1887-1976), Topiary Gardens
Marshall, MD
Extant
Photo by Robert Foster


Romano Gabriel (1896-1977), Wooden Garden (Gabriel’s Garden)
Eureka, CA
Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen


William “Robot Man” Clark (b. 1956), Junk Yard Robots
Buena, NJ
Extant
Photo by Robert Foster


Howard Finster (1916-2001), Paradise Garden
Summerville, GA
Extant
Photo by Robert Foster


Francisco del Rio Cuenca, (1926-2010), Casa de las Conchas (“House of Shells”)
Montoro, Spain
Extant
Photo by Jo Farb Hernàndez


The Rev. Harmon D. Dennis (1916-2011) and Margaret Dennis (1916-2009), Margaret’s Grocery
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Extant
Photo by Kelly Ludwig


Dr. Charles Smith (b. 1940), African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive
Hammond, LA
Extant
Photo by Lisa Stone


Jesse “Outlaw” Howard (1885-1983), Watts Towers
West Fulton, MO
Non Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen


Sabato Rodia (1875-1965), Watts Towers
Los Angeles, CA
Extant
Photo by Seymour Rosen

Posted in: Accidental Mysteries, Art, Craft, Public Art

Comment 1  |     |     |   Like 0  |   Tweet 37
Comments [1]
*This* is beauty! Thank you!
TomS
05.26.14
01:29



Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup

  • Design Jobs
    Observer Jobs Spotlight




Places Journal
Mail Chimp