Gary Bowling’s House of Art, in Bluefield is so unique that we promise you never see anything else like it across the 50 states. The sheer magnitude of creativity and talent, along with eye for art, is undeniable in this historic building turned art gallery.
A mermaid with red flowing hair, made out of pipe cleaners, hangs above front desk. Originally, a prop in the Princeton and Bluefield Christmas Parade, the mermaid got a makeover this year. She is made out of tomato cages, flower planters and spray foam, according to Gary Bowling and Joe Queen.
A butler that greets guests is made out of old copies of the local newspaper. The creation puts a new spin on recycling the news.
In the corner of the room is a door that leads to an Egyptian Queen made out of a shipping coffin. The palm trees outside her room are 25 years old and made out of coat hangers, cloth and cardboard tubes.
You have to see it to believe it. Plan on spending at least an hour or more inside the gallery to really appreciate all the pieces. If you are lucky, Gary will tell you how he put many of his creations together. This owner really enjoys telling visitors about the gallery and how the gallery is the heart of the artist community.
Gary and Joe call themselves dumpster divers. They find beauty in trash, an odd assortment of milk jugs, coat hangers, cardboard tubes and more. When asked about his style, Gary said he reaches for the moment. His career in the art world has enabled him to live life as a painter, sculptor and more.
Artists have to jury to become part of the House of Art, he explained. Eventually some artists have moved on to bigger projects. Patch Whiskey, who has painted murals in Princeton and Bluefield, now paints larger than life pictures all across the country He is based in Charleston, S. C. Jamie Powers, a native of McDowell County, works in Pittsburg, Penn.
Best of all, the museum is free and open to the public.
The gallery, located at 300 Ramsey Street, Bluefield is free and open to the public, Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was last updated on November 6, 2018