George is a graduate of The Cleveland Institute of Art, one of the nation's leading independent colleges of art and design. His work is on display at Butler Institute of Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Canton Art Institute, Canton Ohio; Massillon Art Institute, Massillon, Ohio and numerous private collections throughout the country.
For the past 40 years, George has taught art out of his home studio in Richmond Heights, OH, a suburb of Cleveland with a population of about 11,000.
George believes that "all people should be allowed to express their feelings in art regardless of ability, talent or circumstance."
Which says A LOT about George and his ongoing relationship with the city of Richmond Heights and his neighbors.
He's been a resident of Richmond Heights for about 30 years and for at least the last 20 that I can remember, he's been expressing himself through his art. On his lawn.
All OVER his lawn.
Some have called it an attractive nuisance, a legal term for when a dangerous condition on a homeowner's property may entice children and cause them harm. The city has cited him on many occasions for everything from standing water to potentially toxic stuffed animals. I mean, really, how long can a stuffed animal stay out in the elements?
Here's the most recent photo of George:
Sentenced to spend 6 days in jail for a noxious weed violation.
Apparently, the city has had to come and cut his grass many times when he failed to do so. He ended up in jail for a contempt of court warrant after he didn't show up in court for the weed citation. He says he's being targeted for his artwork but if I didn't cut my lawn for a period of time and then ignored a court appearance, I'm pretty sure I would be sharing a jail cell, too.
He states that all of his art mysteriously ended up in his backyard when he was in jail.
I'm honestly not sure how I stand on this. Yes, it's free expression but it is a distraction and some of his "artwork" has blatant political, religious and/or racial equality statements.
Is that ok? Of course.
Does it belong in your front yard? I'm just not sure.
I guess I'm glad that the most annoying yard art in my neighborhood is this:
What do you think about George? Art or annoyance?