Master Storytelling Series

Master Storytelling Series

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Master Transformer: Phillip K Smith IIILucid Stead, the transformation of an abandon homestead shack in Joshua Tree, into a multi-colored light show under the wonderlust of the hight desert landscape. Bravo Phillip!

Filed under lucid stead phillip k smith homestead shack joshua tree LED light show

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Master Transformers: Simi Dabah, Friderich Rudolph & Shari Elf

Story Line: Three Featured Artist who turn Trash into Art

Series: Valley Wonders - Outdoor Art - Palm Springs Life - Oct. 2013

OUTDOOR ART.. from Trash to Art

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. From seeing a scrap object as a piece of art, to finding a gold mine of old shoes, to transforming broom handles into Art Queens, these all serve as inspirations to Outsider/Transformer Artist. Our piece highlights three High Desert Artist who have a talent for turning discard trash, and scrap metal, into awe inspiring and entertaining works of art. With added mention given to one of the high deserts founding junk assembly artists, (D)Noah Purifoy and his 8 acre open land Junk Art Museum.

Our featured artists include: (C)Simi Dabah, (Metal Sculpture Artist),(A) Friderich Rudolph, (Junk Pipe Artist) and (B)Shari Elf, (Folk Art/Recycled Artist). Simi has been transforming scrap metal into metal art sculptures at his 8 acre site in Joshua Tree for thirty years. You can spot a wide array of his pieces along Hwy 62, from Yucca Valley to 29 Palms. Friderich is also a long time veteran of Junk art in the high desert for over ten years. Originally from Germany, this former LA fashion designer has turned his love of fashion into a love affair of pipe art. He has transformed his entire Yucca Valley Yard into an outdoor Art Museum, including pieces highlighting some of his favorite LA celebrities from, Lady Gaga, and Lindsey Lohan to Pamela Anderson). While Artist, Shari Elf, is content with listening to Cher albums and producing popular recycled T-shirts, entitled, What would Cher do? Shari has been producing folk art/recycled art pieces in her Joshua Tree Studio (Art Queen) for over eight years, and loves interacting with her fellow Joshua Tree Artists in producing collaborative trash works of art.  

These artist are among over 130 artists that will be exhibiting their works on the Hwy 62 Art Tour celebrated and organized by The Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. One of the largest open studio tours, showcasing the best of the high deserts visual and performing artist throughout Joshua Tree and Gateway communities. This years Tour is set for the weekends of  Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27, 2013. All of our featured artists have open studio and exhibit sites open to the public with set weekend viewing hours, if you happen to miss attending this event. See our artist site map for extra details. (artist listed from A-D on Map)

http://goo.gl/maps/HOMQ1

Have fun exploring through the Hwy of trash full treasures! 

 

Filed under outsider art outdoor art junk art recycled art joshua tree artist Hwy 62 art tour Metal Sculpture Palm Sprgins Life magazine

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Master Transformers

Master Transformer: Noah Purifoy

Story Line: Turning Trash into Outdoor Art - The High Deserts founding junk assembly artists, Noah Purifoy and his 8 acre open land Junk Art Museum, in Joshua Tree, Ca. 

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Many years ago, I remember visiting this Outlandish, and Awe-Inspiring Outdoor Junk Art Museum. Just recently, in preparation for writing this story, I began wondering if the site still existed and whether it was still open to the public. Well, my questions were soon answered, after I took the one hour plus journey, along dirt and secluded high desert roads to reach my final destination, The Noah Purifoy - Assembled Junk Art Wonderland. 

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I arrived just before sunset, and had the place all to myself. The place was just as I remembered, still and motionless, and vibrating immense creative intensity to it’s touring guest. I felt truly lucky in that moment, to have rediscovered this remote treasure once again. Knowing I had limited time before the sun set, I quickly set off to re-capture and re-aquaint myself with this junk land of wanderlust. 

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Here’s a little bit of history on the site and it’s creator, Noah Purifoy. Noah’s junk assemblage sculptures were all created on site between 1989 and 2004. The sculptures are all assemblage pieces, adorned with junk bits, most are large enough to walk into. Purifoy referred to his assemblage pieces as, “Environmental Sculptures.” He intended for his works to be displayed in their natural environment and process for decay. 

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Today the site is managed and preserved by the Noah Purifoy Foundation. This site is part of the Hwy 62 Art Tour, and is open to the general public for view during the designated tour hours. For a private or group viewing after the tour, please contact Sue Welsh at (213) 382-7516 and make an appointment. 

Filed under outdoor art junk art noah purifoy joshua tree joshua tree artist Hwy 62 art tour

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Master Transformers

Master Transformers: Shari Elf, Folk Art/ Recycle Artist

Story Line:  Three Featured Artists - Turning Trash into Art

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I first found out about Shari Elf, by her so called “Fiancé,” Friderich Rudolph. Together the two artists collaborated in creating a junk art piece, entitled Art Queen (video footage regarding this piece below). Before meeting Shari in person, I decided to do some prior research on her Artful life and career. I discovered that Shari is a woman of many talents. She is a: Singer, Song-Writer, Fashion Designer, Raw food Chef, Life Coach, and Folk Art/Recycle Artists. Wow! hope I covered everything, and I thought I had many interests and projects. This Seattle born, Maui raised, now Joshua Tree resident, received a formal Art Degree - BFA from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma Washington. Noting that she does not think her formal Art Education “damaged her creativity to much.” She also received a degree in Fashion Technology from Maui Community College. She created her own clothing line and ran her “Elf Wear” brand for several years, sewing one of a kind, hand painted knitwear. 

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I joking asked her, with all her many talents, if she every feels like a part time Super Hero? She laughs and adds, “Yes, that another reason why I have S’s placed on my fashion designs.” 

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Hah! so funny. I love it. But all joking aside, Shari not only has a talent for creating unique, one of a kind Artful pieces, she also possess an even greater talent, as she is known to, awaken the Artists in all of us. She started a class/workshop where people from her JT community can find their own Artful expressions, via recycled and found objects. She calls it, ART NOT Wal-Mart. The group meets every Tuesday night, they work on a collaborate art piece together, they each have 2 minutes to add their unique touches to the piece. Shari calls the process and finished creations a progressive, interactive art piece.

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What I love about this piece, is what’s on the back. Shari calls it her Ingredients List, the list describes and tells a story on what inspired her to originally create the piece. Just Classic! 

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You can view the finished pieces, which by the way are for sale, and a brief bio on each participating artist on her website, http://www.sharielf.com, Good and Sturdy Art. 

In addition to her, what I like to call "Raising people Up, verses Your Bank Account calling," she also co-founded her current work studio and Art gallery, Art Queen (with Randy Polumbo) eight years ago, in Joshua Tree, California.

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From this simple little studio, nestled just off of Hwy 62, innovative and one of a kind inspirational pieces are born. Like for instance, her famous, What would Cher do? (recycled T-Shirts)

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This all started from a simple painting in her studio, while listening to one of her favorite Cher songs, The way of Love. Before it was transformed into a recycled T-shirt, that gained notoriety after one of Cher’s friends, Ron Zimmerman showed up at Cher’s home wearing it. Originally the T-shirt was created for a fundraising event for the Santa Monica Museum of Art for their holiday boutique, in 2010. Shari was the gift artist for this event and sold over 100 pieces of her Good and Sturdy Art to museum holiday shoppers, her “What would Cher Do?” was a big hit. 

In addition to creating one of a kind recycled originals, and Big Hit fashion statements, that are worn and shown-off by famous celebrities. Shari has taken the time to establish her World Famous Crochet Museum. The Museum proudly opened it’s doors to the public 6 years ago in what was then an old Fotomat building. 

Filed under folk art junk art recylced art joshua tree artist Shari elf Palm Sprgins Life magazine Hwy 62 art tour Elf wear Outdoor art outsider art

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I jokingly call Friderich, “my Fiancé” - a collaborated joint junk art creation between Friderich and Shari. The Piece Entitled Art Queen, sold to a happy buyer in LA.

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Master Transformers: Shari Elf

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I think by far my most favorite part of my visit with Shari was experiencing the World Famous Crochet Museum. I truthfully could of staying in there all day. If there were a hot dog or popcorn stand situated outside, I certainly would have stayed longer. I asked Shari if any of the crochet pieces were for sale, her response was, "It’s A Museum." I think that clearly answered my question. 

I then asked her how she got started collecting her famous crochet collection, and what originally drew her to collect them. She liked that they were cute, and each were hand made with love. It all started during her Flea Market days in LA, when she started collecting crochet poodles, her collection grew and grew, and eventually she had to build a larger shelf to showcase them all. image

Eventually people started donating pieces and it grew to form the Museum. The museum has scheduled hours open to the public, and many people have visited and left pleasant comments.

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Shari admits she does not crochet the items, but collects them joyfully for the museum. What started as a collection of bottle and toilet paper covered poodles in her bathroom, has grown into a world class array of gems that delight visitors daily. Some say they never want to leave this happy crochet wonderland. And truthfully I don’t blame them! 

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For more information on the Artist and her most recent creations and community art related projects visit her website - Good and Sturdy Art by Shari Elf, http://sharielf.com, or visit her studio Art Queen at, 61855      Hwy 62, Joshua Tree, Ca. - open to the public, Saturday and Sunday   from 1-6pm.

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Master Transformers

Master Transformer: Friderich Rudolph, Pipe Junk Artist

Story Line: Three Featured Artist - Turning Trash into Art

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About a year ago I was driving around with some friends in a residential neighborhood in Yucca Valley, when we came across this bizarre yet intriguing site. Situated on the corner of Geronimo and Navajo Trail is an outdoor art exhibit like no other in the neighborhood. After we closed our mouths from pure shock and disbelief, we opened our car doors, and set out in search of some answers. We came to discover that this outdoor display of “Alien transplanted Wonderland” was the home and outdoor studio of Friderich Rudolph, a native of Germany and former LA fashion designer, who’s been transforming his front yard over the course of a ten year period, into one of a kind unique pipe junk art wonderland. 

As I tentatively gave myself a self guided tour of the site, I couldn’t help but wonder, where he got his raw materials, and how he came up with these ideas. Just as I finished with this last thought, a man popped out from the back doorway, and said “Hello, do you like my art?” My first thought, was please don’t kill me for trespassing on your yard, and my second was, “Yes, this is so cool, I love it. And can I take a million photos?” He smiled and said yes, so I went crazy and took a million and one photos. Here are a few of my favorite shots from that day.

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This last photo, urged me to ask, if these were his girlfriends. He admitted they were, and added that he always gives gifts to his new girlfriends. He then motioned for me to follow him, I did so apprehensively, thinking all the while, “please dear lord in heaven, forgive me for all my sins, and please don’t let this be my last and final hour.” As I entered his back studio, I was pleased to discover a vast array of hand made bracelets. Friderich told me to pick one out for myself. I said Okay, and thought, jeez - where do I begin, they were all really cool. I managed to find one and thanked him for his generosity. He nodded  his head, and said, "Now you’re my girlfriend." Wow, okay, I don’t know about that. 

Fast forward a year later, I am desperately driving around Yucca Valley neighborhoods, trying to find Friderich’s place for a Story piece on Outdoor Art in the High Desert. Luckily, a helpful neighbor pointed me in the right direction. As I parked the car and looked across the yard, it looked just as I remembered a year earlier, maybe plus or minus a few added pieces. As I knocked on the front door, the same fear took hold, “Please don’t kill me for trespassing on your yard.” Friderich saw me through the window and came out. He was his pleasant self, and said hello. I said hello back, followed by “Do you remember me?” He was quick with his response, “No.” It was then, that I pulled out the bracelet he had given me a year earlier and said, "I’m your girlfriend! Don’t you remember?" He laughed and said, “Oh yes, there are so many you know.” Yes of course, Friderich, yes of course. 

This was now my chance to ask questions and take photos at ease. He showed me some of his new pieces. 

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I laughed and asked, how did you come up with these ideas. He said sometimes ideas come to him in his sleep, and times his friends give him ideas. 

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My friends tell me they don’t drink. Oh really?!

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Master Transformers: Friderich Rudolph

In chatting with Friderich you quickly discover that he is a true artist. His creative mind has no limits. I asked him what inspired some of his latest pipe art pieces, “Oh those crazy LA people.” What he means by this statement, is all the crazy news coverage of famous LA celebrates, like, Lindsey Lohan, Lady Gaga, and Pamela Anderson, he has built pipe art installations in their honor (or maybe as a entertaining joke). Either way, I find it innovative and fun. He finds most of his raw materials from swap meets and from people donating items, which he then deconstructs and repurposes. Sometimes he even collaborates with other local artists in creating joint junk art pieces. (worked with JT artist, Shari Elf - produced a joint art piece together) He doesn’t get paid for his pieces, but adds, he really does it for fun. I told him, it shows in his work, and on the faces of the many that have the pleasure of viewing his creations. 

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If you are up in high desert, or plan a special trip up (which I highly recommend), or just happen to come across this amusing and fascinating outdoor art exhibit, like it did. Stop your car, get your camera’s ready and be prepared to be amazed! 

Friderich does not have a website, and he does not keep set public viewing hours (best time to visit, between 10am-6pm ). I ask that you be conscience and considerate when visiting the site, as it’s nestled within a residential neighborhood. The site is located on the corner of Geronimo Trail and Navajo Trial in Yucca Valley. 

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Master Transformers

Master Transformer: Simi Dabah, Metal Sculpture Artist

Story Line: Three Featured Artists - Turning Trash into Art

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Simi Dabah is a very talented Metal Sculpture Artist. This 86 year old doesn’t miss a beat, and he’d be the first to tell you so. Simi is a self taught metal artist. He is a former real estate lawyer/developer who never stopped creating his mile high creations that weigh thousands of pounds. He admits his one time hobby has gotten out of hand with over 700 pieces installed on his 8 acre site in Joshua Tree, and proudly admitting to creating over 1500 items over the course of his lifetime. He first picked up a welding torch in his early 20’s at a friends garage. The story goes, he had been asking his friend to teach him how to weld for weeks, until finally one day he just grabbed his friend and said, "Show me how to turn this thing on!" And well, the rest is history. Simi has a talent for finding art in a discarded piece of scrap metal. Most of his sculptures are produced from repurposing old objects like tool boxes (his first sculpture he made for a friend in Beverly Hills) to old water heaters.image

These two metal art pieces that adorn his dinning room wall, came from an old hot water heater.

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When I discovered that his work was produced from repurposing trash, I was excited. I said, “Great, this ties in perfectly with the theme of my story.” You see, now a days, anything repurposed, recycled or up-cycled is considered the trending environmentally cool thing to do. However, Simi, is quick to share that back in his days, using discarded scrap metal, was done so out of necessity. When he first started working on his craft, he had very little money, but plenty of inventive ideas. He can turn any piece of scrap into a work of art.