A true Eureka treasure, the incredible wooden sculpture garden of Romano Gabriel is preserved at 315 Second Street in Old Town Eureka, CA. It originally sat in Gabriel's home front yard on Pine Street, where it grew to nearly obscure the front of the house. In the 1980s, the sculptures were moved to Old Town for restoration and preservation.
"It took Romano Gabriel, a carpenter and gardener, nearly three decades to make the hundreds of of brilliant and arresting objects with which he filled the front yard of his Pine Street home in Eureka. Gabriel fashioned his brightly painted trees and flowers out of vegetable crates, adding droll faces and figures to create a fantasy that dazzles and delights like the finale of an old-fashioned Fourth of July fireworks display--pinwheels fixed but appearing to spin in a triumphant breathtaking burst.
Unlike much other naive art, the Wooden Garden was not made from found objects, or arranged in patterns; nor was it a structure intended for real or imagined use. It was, rather, a seeming jumble of objects; taller in back, smaller in front; set up in the approximately thirty by sixty foot yard, behind the picket fence, and intended to be seen by passersby. According to a longtime friend (of the artist), some of the figures were commentaries on contemporary people or events, political or religious, or even caricatures."
— Patricia Elsen, ARTnews
This unique contribution to the world of folk art continues to delight visitors and residents alike, who pass by its open doors daily.
The world-renowned Sculpture Garden is owned and operated by the Humboldt Arts Council, who have been the caretakers of the sculpture garden since 2012.