In 1963, Philadelphia steelworker William Brady Sr. moved his family to northwestern Pennsylvania to take a superintendent position at Universal-Cyclops Steel in Titusville, Pa. Bill Sr. was an accomplished artisan who spent most of his free time crafting decorative works in his fully equipped blacksmithing shop. Born in 1943, Bill Jr.’s severe dyslexia was un-recognized […]
Vollis Simpson’s delicate balance of wind, gravity, monumentally, and whimsy was hidden away deep in the North Carolina countryside, but an Emerald City explosion would begin just as you approached that last turn in Wiggins Mill Road – and a sliver of sparkling fantasy began to show through. The full birds-flying, axles-squeaking, loggers-sawing, fans-whirring, guitarists-strumming, […]
Would you like to see into the future? “I just want to get [God’s] message out,” Frank Bruno explained when we first met, “I don’t give a #$%@ about anything else.” A WWII veteran born in 1925, his website hesawthefuture.com gives detailed explanations of his work “I’m just a brush . . . God sends […]
“A child can paint better than that,” Ronald Mann’s ex-wife would say. “I do agree with you, but I’m just going to paint anyway. It [makes] no difference to me whether it’s childish or not.” Outside a tavern near Flint, Michigan about forty years earlier, he’d been caught-up in an altercation: “the judge told me, […]
Twisted wire-formed letters near the top spell out “Jesus Cristo,” [slide 1] and sometimes when Dominic ‘Cano’ Espinoza “looks real close” at his castle, he can see the crucified face of Jesus looking back. He built in no such anthropomorphic features, but to him the castle becomes an acheiropoieton – a massive, embossed metal […]
A low wall of rocks and broken concrete (one for every African-American soldier killed in Vietnam) forms a water-monster guarded embankment along the ‘river’s’ edge. Water surrounding the perimeter also recalls the swampland refuge of escaped slaves, and the concrete-sculpted alligator-like monster represents both danger to the runaways, and protection from “slave catchers” who feared to enter.
A lifetime construction project of monumental proportions, Billy Tripp’s Mindfield Cemetery is a personal diary writ large in steel. Its pages are open to the world and are regularly reshaped by sculptural entries that transcribe his inner journey; the Mindfield displays captured thoughts and recollections in a sheer metal fabric that expands and grows denser […]
For over 50 years Ron Manolio cheerfully hand-painted the (real) multi-colored eggshells needed to complete Betty Manolio’s Eggshelland graph paper designs. I can truly say I’ve never met a person who exuded more giddy delight over bringing pleasure to others! Eggshelland’s immense regional attention no doubt brought Ron great, and well-deserved satisfaction. During the couple […]