Magazine article Sunset

Back Yard Art Park

Magazine article Sunset

Back Yard Art Park

Article excerpt

An artist turns her garden into a sculpture gallery

"We set it up like a city park," says artist Ginny Davis of her ever-changing backyard in Napa, California. The rectangular half-acre is divided into freeform zones: an open grassy area for groups and playing, intimate sitting areas for midday relaxing, sheltered places for enjoying a meal, and a pool for swimming laps. Davis's studio opens directly to this landscape through sliding doors. Indeed, the garden is a kind of outdoor gallery showcasing her metal and kinetic sculptures and collections of found objects. She uses the garden to show clients how works of art can blend into natural settings.

Davis and her husband, Tom, have been designing, adding to, and rebuilding the garden for 13 years. Now berms, rock walls, masses of plants, serpentine pathways, three arbors, a dining pavilion, and a colorful garden shed provide the backdrops for her collection.

The garden had a head start on the sculptures, which began to appear ofter Davis took metalworking classes at a local community college. Her pieces are usually cut from big sheets of steel with a plasma torch. She draws inspiration from everyday experiences; for example, the 3-foottall ravens dotting the lawn are modeled on real ones that cawed rudely at Davis when she swam laps early one morning. …

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