Saturday, February 19, 2005

RichArt's Ruins

My family and I were just leaving a restaurant in Olympia, Washington two years ago when my uncle asked me to meet a friend of his who lived just south of Olympia in Centralia.
More than a little surprised at the request, I hesitantly agreed to the impromptu trip.

I tried not to think too much about it during the drive, but the longer we were in the car the more I just had to wonder...what the fuck is this all about??

As the car pulled up in front of 203 M Street, I thought my uncle had lost his mind.
My aunt wasn't getting out of the car, but I didn't get off so easy.

Art Yard from the street

Richard Tracy, the creator of this 20 year in the making...uh...dump, is not fond of the name Richard and much prefers to be called RichArt, his self-given name.

My uncle did not prepare me at all for the man he had unleashed upon me.
RichArt wasted no time. He threw his arm uninvitedly around my shoulders, and at that moment I was genuinely afraid.RichArt

My eyes pleaded with uncle; he smirked.

I kept thinking, doesn't he realize this man is not well?
I know it may seem paranoid, but I was actually waiting for him to kill us.
No joke.

I can't honestly recall the things he was saying to me, but it was absolutely ludicrous.

one man's junk...
I do remember one thing I found extremely funny.
I was pointing out a red door from a volkswagon beetle he had positioned on the corner of the lot facing the street.

He was overtly pleased that I had noticed one of his favorites, though he was a little conflicted over it.
His wife was unhappy about it being there; it was ruining her view. (!)

You see that picture.
I mean, was she able to see around the rest of this shit?

Then I started to question her very existence.

In 40 minutes I hadn't seen a woman.
Granted, I didn't enter the house.

But really, is there a woman alive who could live with this mess in the yard?
I'm not convinced.

There is a plethora of "shtuff" on display in RichArt's Ruins. Far more than you could take in during a single visit. And he is quite passionate about each piece of it.

Every way you turn more styrofoam statues, welded "animals" and over-head junk mobiles.
As we were leaving I noticed a shrine of half-buried bicycles near the front entrance.

This friendly and eccentric (to put it very, very mildly) man gives tours of his Art Yard and seems to be fixated on the number 5.

If you show up in a group of 5, admittance is free.
You can have a free 5 minute tour or you can "work" for a 55 minute stay.

one man's junk...That's right, he wants you to construct your own contribution to Art Yard. $5 is also accepted in lieu of artwork.

I managed to stay there for more than 40 minutes without even laughing. It could only be because I was so terrified of the man with the death grip on my shoulders.

Now that I know I can get out alive, I am dying to go back and introduce Tickles to my new friend, RichArt.

If you ever find yourself in Centralia, Washington, I definitely urge you to give RichArt 5 minutes of your time. It's an experience not easily forgotten.

RichArt's Art Yard: 203 M Street, I-5 Exit 82 to Harrison Avenue east… Art Yard will be on the left.

Blogger Tickles_Tapeworm thinks I am a total genius.


Sunday, February 20, 2005 2:22:00 AM  
Blogger Paul thinks I am a total genius.

There is a wacky ass guy in Michigan just like that, called the Heidelburg project. Doll parts, shoes, and this kind of shit:

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous thinks I am a total genius. are a moron. I just saw a documentary about RichArt and found him to be brilliant. I guess you want everyone to be identical. Boring. I am stunned by the fact that you even write a blog. You have nothing interesting to say.

Saturday, November 03, 2007 6:02:00 PM  
Blogger carrie thinks I am a total genius.

i wasn't going to respond to that, but ive since decided you're so obviously delusional ide take a moment to set you straight:

setting aside your juvenile character assessments you so cowardly signed "anonymous", did you even bother to read my post?
i guess the part where i include his address and urge any readers to visit the art yard lead you to believe i dint think he was worth the time of day, eh?
i actually met him, face to face sans camera crew etc, visited his home but what would i know right? i mean all you had to do is sit on your ass watching television and suddenly you're an authority on subject.
its really no wonder you found him to be brilliant; you're using windows 98 with an outdated browser. im actually stunned you can even use the internet.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

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