Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery — It’s a Real Place

Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery (that’s really the name)
1100 Highway 101
Crescent City, California

Well, if you’re gonna name your art gallery “disturbing,” you’d better deliver. And this Northern California roadside attraction earns its name. One minute you’re cruising north on Highway 101, almost to the Oregon state line and promised nirvana, and the next minute you’ve U-turned so fast your dog yelps.

 

According to a Roadside America article, this gallery is the home of 3 artists, two of whom appear to be quite normal (driftwood sculptures and chainsaw sculptures). But the third, who luckily was not on-site the day I visited, has some issues.

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Outsider Art — Why You Need It

This weekend provides a rare opportunity to peek into an artist’s lair and walk away with a piece of it at a relatively-reasonable price.  This estate sale is at the home studio of Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, who will be in and out during the sale and is happy to sign his art for you.
Mike and Roger Estate Sales, July 26-28, (816) 309-2728

 

Each week I look diligently through the online posts for estate sales — a chance to walk into a stranger’s house and look at all their stupid stuff (it’s the stupid stuff that sticks around for the sales), and snoop around their homes.  It’s fascinating to see what people spend their money on.  And then, on my way home with a car full of someone else’s old junk, a brief moment of self-awareness sometimes kick in when I realize how I’m spending MY money.

But this week something unique caught my eye — a chance to walk into a strange artist’s home and look at all his piled-up art. I think most artists don’t appreciate their talent, so their basements collect piles of cast-aside work. That certainly seems the case with local Kansas City artist Allan Winkler, the talented sculpter, painter, cut-paper artist, cut metal artist, potter, poured glass, collage artist. He’s well-known in art circles for his outsider art.

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Gateway to imperfection…

My Home-as-Scrapbook philosophy makes me constantly re-invent displays and vignettes around the house. I’ve been hauling this old gate around for years, but finally found a wall for it in my new home office.

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It has been so much fun pulling all my priceless treasures out of shoeboxes to display them. I’m using all kinds of things to connect them to the gate…binder clips, clothespins, S-hooks, a bracelet, and…vintage jewelry. Clip earrings are the most fun!

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Day 3 – Albuquerque to Shamrock

375 miles (not enough!)
Gas was $2.49/gallon in Albuquerque

Woke up to snowflakes this morning in Albuquerque, but it was all gone by the time we got outside, so Panda will have to wait to experience snow (probably not too long!). I spent some time in Santa Rosa, New Mexico today, which I missed on last year’s trip. It’s one of those cool historic towns on Route 66 that was bypassed with the building of I-40. It must have been ultra-cool back in the day, with neon lights to rival any town of that size. It’s sad to see the empty buildings languish today.

We’re not going all the way to Chicago, but…Panda don’t care…

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

 

One final stop of the day: Cadillac Ranch, the ultimate folk art installation in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. The first time I visited this mecca was in the summer and it was crawling with people — hard to get a clear shot of a single car. So it was a special joy to have the whole place to myself today. I’d spent the day listening to a classic rock station from Amarillo, and Keith Richards’ Autobiography, Live, read on Audible by the delicious Johnny Depp. So, I don’t know why, but it seemed fitting that the song playing as I drove away from the Cadillacs was “Free Bird.”

Ended up in Shamrock, Texas. Wanted to keep driving, but there was heavy fog, so we hunkered down in a hotel in the shadow of the historic U Drop Inn.

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

Summerland Beach Cafe (is awesome)…

Summerland Beach Cafe
2294 Lillie Avenue
Summerland, California
805-959-1019
http://summerlandbeachcafe.com

An idyllic beachside location in an 1893 Victorian home in an adorable California coastal town just south of Santa Barbara…what else does a cafe need? How about a giant DOG FRIENDLY sign??? That’s all it took to grab my attention. I love dog people. They’re the best kind of people persons. I think I would walk into a burning building if it had a DOG FRIENDLY sign on it (wait a minute…I would definitely do that!). So I was SO pleasantly surprised that the Summerland Beach Cafe is not only DOG FRIENDLY, but also a charming, homey, adorably-decorated cafe with REALLY GOOD FOOD. Bonus!!!

I love restaurants in old houses, and this one sits just around the corner from the iconic Big Yellow House, a long-shuttered house/restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway. The Summerland Beach Cafe has occupied a very cool old Victorian house, originally built in 1893, since 1981, and the walls still boast the original painted murals. A super-nice guy we ran into on the way out turned out to be owner Jeff Melnik, who told us that one of the original artists is now a Disney artist. Not surprising. The walls are whimsical in a very story-book way, and I love that they’ve been protected and are cherished.

But I guess you go to a cafe to eat. And for puppies. (There was a dog adoption in the parking lot when we visited). Both the puppies and the food were delicious. I had the La Rosa grilled chicken sandwich with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, jack cheese, onions, and pesto on a Ciabatta roll. I’m still dreaming about it.

I spend a lot of time (though never enough) on Pacific Coast Highway between LA and Santa Barbara, so it’s great to find another magical stopover. I can’t wait to go back!