Austin Art Yard Tour 2012: The List
April 14 (10am to 5pm) & 15 (noon to 5pm)

Here's the FINAL downloadable list and map! (added Purple Martin Passion)


We've also added, at the very bottom, a new list called "Graveyards" listing art yards that are, sadly, no more...

invited = invited to participate on the tour and waiting for confirmation
stop in = stop in and peruse the property, chat with yardist
drive by = observe from street/sidewalk, do not enter property


stellhaus (NEW YARD!!!)1511 Suffolk Drive drive by 

For the past 12 years, Tim Stell has delighted his neighbors and friends with an annual freshen-up of the tall tree stump in his front yard. After passing on burning man to finish bringing down the tree, he stopped at one point and realized the tree looked like burning man. Since then the stump has been Betty Boop, the Grinch, and other characters, usually upgraded before All Hallow's Eve. (Bonus yard: Check out the praying mantis up the street at 1612 Suffolk!)

leland cartoon house (NEW YARD!!!)507 Leland Street drive by 

Although (ahem) technically not an art yard, this exhuberant paint job can't help but carry over and exhuberfy the surrounding landscape. Check out the nice touch of the design carrying over across the windows! Lance Bradley painted the house.

purple martin passion (NEW YARD!!!)Virginia Avenue & Meghan Lane stop in 

The Josephs' have dedicated their ample side yard to the spacey housings of Purple Martins and the educating of the masses about said the benefits of said birds.

found object art yard (NEW YARD!!!)3905-B Grayson Lane stop in 

Barbara Irwin repurposes metallic castaways into spirited sculpture, much of which is in her yard and much of which is also in her house. She also plans to give tours of her delightful studio. Visit her online here.

kenny dorham's back yard (NEW YARD!!!)1106 East 11th Street stop in 

Richard McMillan has converted this empty lot that borders 11th Street into a neighborhood outside art center. Stop in to admire the murals and gardens, partake of some trailer food, get a cold drink, and (ahem) use the (portable) facilities.

woodhenge (NEW YARD!!!)East Cesar Chavez Street & Red Bluff Road drive by 

There are guerilla yardists in our midst (sounds like a movie: "Gorilla Yardists in out Midst") who, in the deep of night, install yard art in public places. This is one of those places. (Bonus: Check out the sculpture on the grounds of The Artpost across the street. [Coincidence?])


woodnado (NEW YARD!!!)38th Street & Guadalupe Street drive by 

There are guerilla yardists in our midst (sounds like a movie: "Gorilla Yardists in out Midst") who, in the deep of night, install yard art in public places. This is ANOTHER one of those places. Megakudos to the property owner for allowing this woodnado to exist here for more than five years now. (Bonus: Get caffeinated at the Starbucks [and use the facilities!])

the foundations municipal (boondoggle) park (NEW YARD!!!)1002 Baylor Street drive by 

This name comes from Google maps, but this is not a (ahem) santioned municipal park. It's not a yard either, although long ago these concrete foundations where envisioned to be someone's homes (and yards), so here we go... Note that there are "No Trespassing" signs posted and that the place can be a little dangerous to crawl about if you trespass (which you shouldn't, you know).

27081_402773800745_291632700745_4895382_3386627_nsea yard (BACK AFTER A HIATUS!): 1815 dywer avenue stop in
Lois Goodman's yard features a sea theme with a mosaic mermaid on the gate and a fence of sea critters. If you're lucky, her art car will be anchored in the carport.

sumo ballerinasuper bonn bonn (A STOP IN THIS YEAR!): 1004 olive street stop in
A champion of found materials and castings, Bonnie Ramsey has turned her neighborhood into a much better place. Be sure to check out the giant ape she's building to be installed at Kenny Dorham's Back Yard!

the cathedral of junk4422 Lareina Drive stop in 

This is the descendant, the progeny, the daddy, the grand-daddy, the great-grand daddy, and the Adam and Eve of art yards in Austin. An absolutely stunning yard of love, joy, and (probably...) more than 30 tons of junk, wire, and inspiration. This yard is not to be missed!

the faist plaist1503 karen street stop in 

A giant bamboo teepee fire pit, bowling balls, license plates, a house painted in digital camoflage (using Martha Stewart colors), and misc yard ephemera make this a must stop in the center of Austin.

the bottle haus2209 south 1st street stop in 

Susan Maynard lovingly assembled this beautifully mosaiced bottle house next to what used to be the Spunky Monkey, an early Austin art yard environment (remants of which can still be seen next door....). The house, located toward the back of the property, is now used as a studio.

the watterson whimsy1701 canyon edge drive stop in 

They said the Hill Country couldn't be made more beautiful. One hundred bowling balls, bottles, and a little of this and that later, it's clear that they were wrong.

the west lynn gorilla710 west lynn street drive by 

The gorilla on West Lynn, dolled up to honor the holiday du jour, is an Austin art yard classic.

the el paso art bridge402 el paso street stop in at the bridge 

Just to the east of this address is a small art deco-ish bridge that Stefanie Distefano has slowly been turning into a huge (and gorgeous) mosaic. Giant koi fan across the sidewalk while city scenes peek out from the concrete drainage below. And don't miss taking a peek at the southern end of the bridge!

bobby's bone tree sculpture garden1410 travis heights boulevard stop in 

Bobby Lou Pearl's yard not only holds a tree of bones, it tells the story of her grandmother's escape from the pogroms of Russia through a series of beautiful sculptures. And there's also the bust in the tub in the front!

comfort yard for a comfort house515 kemp street stop in 

Florence Ponziano opens her home to area children as a safe (and fun!) place to be. Her energy is infectious, and her yard and home are vivid expressions of her positive artistic energy. Florance is an accomplished mosaic artist, well known for her magically adorned guitars (and bras!). Visiti Florence's Comfort House.


alleycat: 1401 corona drive stop in
Where do bowling balls go when they've lost their (rock and) roll? LuCretia Sisk's front yard seems to be the place. Several hundred bowling balls tastefully arranged in this yard featured by John Kelso and Texas Monthly. This year LuCretia is opening up her backyard as well featuring found art and rock funness!

IMG_6730texotica gardens: 4405 avenue D stop in
This quirky Hyde Park yard lovingly tended by Arlinda Abbott brings a smile to strollerbys (and art yard enthusiasts) with her bowling balls, bottle trees, and recycled materials. Be sure to also stroll up the alley as well.

IMG_6688goldie's toys: 1613 cloverleaf drive stop in
Goldie, with the help of her neighbors, has turned her front yard into a delightful menagerie of native stone and whimsy. Her yard gets better and better and brings health and goodness to those who enjoy the simple life!

IMG_0286.JPGby george: 204 attayac street drive by
Barry George sculpts with steel and found objects with amazing detail. The yard and fence about his studio and abode also features his inventive imagination. Barry has been having issues with the city, but has so far been able to keep his space. We consider this a threatened yard...

IMG_9795.JPGsmut putt heaven: 509 gate tree lane stop in
There's no smut and there's no putt, but there is art yard heaven here. Bottle cap snakes, mannequin heads, doll heads, and crutches galore! Another must-see, this back yard is chock full of yardist Scott Stevens' serial fixations. The latest? Ironing boards! A locale described in several local, national, and international documentaries.

IMG_6580the sharon smith: 1204 choquette drive stop in
Sharon is an artist that works with ceramics and found objects, so it's no surprise that her yard is adorned with ceramics and found objects. And a tree full of bird cages! Visit her website to see her work

IMG_0015museum of natural and artificial ephemerata: 
1808 singleton avenue stop in
As might be expected, a museum of natural and artificial ephemerata also has a yard of natural and artificial ephemerata. And the museum will be open! As it always is every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. Visit their website at


flat fork studios: 709 w gibson street drive by
Faith Schexnayder is the mastermind behind Flat Fork Studio and this art yard in 78704. Adorned with a giant chicken and various mosaics. Faith tends to have activities of an arty flavor happening, so be ready to make some art when you stop by!

jim hates work: 208 w north loop blvd stop in
Yardist Jim Mansour may hate work, but he loves his giant installation in his front yard (two years ago = lollipop; last year = teddy bear head that decomposed to a teddy bear skull; this year = guillotine). His back yard features various assemblages and a good time. As seen in "Humble Trash" and written up by John Kelso.


sparky texas: 3701 grooms street stop in
A cool little pocket park nestled into a fold of Hyde Park. Features a karstic grotto wall fused about the structure of a electric sub-station. Web site.


abandoned holiness: just south of 1500 pleasant valley
stop in (tell the lot watchers you are there to see the golf course)
Not a yard, per se, but an abandoned miniature golf course where the Holiness is a hole in one. You can "generally" get in from Pleasant Valley. Just tell the guys at the front "campo de golf" and they should let you in...


dixon's art hut: 4202 bellvue avenue stop in
Dixon is a pal of ours who died several years ago. Besides leaving behind good memories of a good friend, he also left his art hut. One of the earlier yardists in town, Dixon made his hut portable which has allowed it to be here in his brother's back yard. Brother Dan also frankenstein's bikes.


black & white: 4605 philco drive stop in
Clinton Hofmeister, who's involved with an art program for teens at the Dougherty Art Center, has populated his front yard with large, abstract, Picasso-esque sculptures made out of cardboard. 

IMG_6741yellowball: 2212 alta vista drive by
YellowBall says it all: A collection of spherical objects in the hue of Big Bird.

the tree of tooth: 3404 kirby lane drive by 
Overheard at a dentists' convention: "The tooth? THE TOOTH?!?!?! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TOOTH?!?!?!?!"

25314_346162625745_291632700745_4693997_6466642_nira poole's classic: 2400 mlk drive by
This front yard is a classic of Austin art yards. This stalwart of an art yard has been here since 1972 meeting and greeting visitors to this fine city from the East.

IMG_6642flower power: 4715 philco drive drive by
PJ Liles takes scrap metal and turns it into art, often flowers and hearts. His front yard is ablooming with giant metal fan blades and gears. 

graveyards (austin art yards that are sadly no more...)


bloo plate special: king street (art yard no more)
This yard in Central Austin features several hundred blue bottles and several hundred license plates as well as highway signs and repurposed junk. Yardist Robert M was inspired by a landlady's bottle tree in New Mexico in creating this bottle prairie.


mano poderosa: east 2nd street (art yard no more)
Mano Poderosa means "helping hand", and this bottle-lined labryinth, in the stylized shape of a hand, is meant to protect and bless. Yardist Mary Kraemer has also artfully planted citrus, roses, crysanthemums, and various types of hibiscus. Take a deep breath, find your center, and slowly walk the path.

Gate to Jill Nokes' back yardjill nokes: avenue F (yardist at location no more)
Jill Nokes' back yard features a whimsical stone-and-stuff fence. Jill is co-author of the book "Yard Art and Handmade Places" published by UT Press.