Palm Beach Post June, 2000
More than 60 sculptures and paintings are located on property paralleling Industrial Avenue. The site began modestly when the road was widened several years ago. Artists working on the avenue decided to put in new fences and landscape the property, adding coral rocks and man-made hills. Wall sculptures were erected first, and then the informal project just continued to grow. The site is lighted at night, and is open free to the public at all hours.
Blue-collar employees, sculptors turn eyesore into artsy landscape
By KARIN MEADOWS
BOYNTON BEACH - The six yellow front-end loaders serve a new purpose these days. The once powerful, now rusty machines sit side by side in a parking lot where Ray Marcinkoski plucks their parts for repairs on modem dirt movers. But the grading company owner has to maneuver carefully around the machines their scoops are now easels for colorful 4-by-8 foot paintings in this industrial area turned artsy landscape by blue-collar workers and a sculptor.
Nearby, an urban roadside once littered with old mattresses, discarded refrigerators and mounds of trash now is lined with metal sculptures and other rustic art - a yellow chrome gear, marble totem poles and Picasso-like paintings by neighborhood children.
"There was old cars, refrigerators - you name it. Just imagine 600 yards of junk," said the gruff and tough-looking Marcinkoski, who two years ago made a deal with the City of Boynton Beach to supply dumpsters for the rubbish in exchange for his cleaning up of West Industrial Avenue. Marcinkoski was the catalyst for the beautification. He pushed around sand and dirt encroaching one side of the road to create a bank, then built a wooden fence as a backdrop and hauled in huge chunks of coral for decoration. He hauls in trees and plants he finds discarded on job sites and nurtures them into the bank alongside purchased flowers.
Meanwhile, Richard W. Beau Lieu, a sculptor whose work can be seen in galleries and public buildings across the nation, has turned his landlord's vision into a mission. Beau Lieu, owner of the Neighborhood Gallery next door to Marcinkoski's shop, commissioned artists to create metal sculptures and paintings on burlap and canvas for a streetside garden gallery in progress. The result is not a feminine display, or even reminiscent of most Florida gardens, which are lush and tropical.
The rugged, rocky landscape exudes a man's touch and is almost desert-like. The 60 pieces along the street include chrome bumper art in the shape of a cactus, a purple metal unicycle tucked between two
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Below: The article as it appeared in the Palm Beach Post Press
In the newspaper article, Richard W. Beau Lieu, the sculptor and proprietor of Neighborhood Gallery, stands in front of his gallery recently in Boynton Beach.
scruffy trees and Jackson Pollack-style paintings by local artist Helen Kelsey. But it is the wildflowers growing among the sculptures and paintings that excite Beau Lieu the most. "You can see what nature is doing," Beau Lieu says as he points at a black metal sculpture tangled with wild red and white bleeding heart. Hot pink bougainviuea peaks over the wooden fence behind it.
At night, the
view is different. The once dark street is now flooded
with lights that illuminate the sculptures and paintings.
A 10-foot post of metal recreated into birthday candle
complete with frosting and a flame marks the entrance to
Beau Lieu's gallery. Now, people stroll the street to
view the art as late as 1 a.m. "The overall benefit
is all of the neighbors have joined in," said a
sculptor who goes only by the name Dextr. "People
come by and say, 'Hey, I've got 100 plants,' or bring
money to help out. This place was filled with rubbish.
Now you hardly see a bottle on the side of the
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