An hour with a stranger can change your life forever.
It was 2004 and we had just moved back to Washington from Austin Texas and my youngest daughter and I drove out to Centralia to visit my sister.
On the way we passed a house that I could not resist stopping to check out.
We pulled up the the house and we walked up to a gate . There was a sign that said come on in. We walked around the yard admiring the sculpture and after about 45 minutes a man appeared from out of no where.
We talked about his work and he got excited and invited us into a secret basement underneath is house.We hesitated for a second and then we took a risk and followed him down under the house . What we saw was breath taking. Stacks and stacks of art on tables some stacked all the way to the ceiling. I pointed to a piece on the wall that I liked and he said let me get a knife.
He came back with a rather scary looking knife and proceeded to cut the art off the wall and then he handed it to me. I offered to pay him for the piece and he said he did not want money. I argued and he said,” If you give me money I will just hand it to the next person who comes through the door.” I told him that would be fine and I handed him $20. He then got a twinkle in his eye and said to me, ” If you like would really like to to do something for me I would like some wooden toothpicks . But don’t bring them to me bring them to the sculpture garden and hide them for me to find. I just love a treasure hunt. ” My daughter and I left his place and heading to the local store . We brought back a few boxes of wooden toothpicks to hide.
I am glad we stopped off at to admire the Styrofoam sculptures and had a chance to explore and play. We had a lot of fun hiding those tooth picks!
During our visit Rich Tracy told us that he does not create art to make a living he creates to live.
I found this photo online which gives you another view of the Rich Art sculpture garden.
RichArt’s Art Yard, July 2012: Rich reported retiring, taking apart all art.