LynnArt Gardens

A bat welcomes you at the gate
Owner Lynn Palmer
A skull lamp
Elf Remy offers cognac
A flying fish adorns the porch

LynnArt Gardens

A feast for the senses awaits your long-overdue visit
 

Story and photos by Gary Bégin

Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of cars have driven past Lynn Palmer’s house on North Miller Street with only scant few knowing its secret. Palmer has been hiding “LynnArt Gardens” in plain sight all this time. It is a yard filled with mysteries, drama, sheer joy, fanciful creatures, a greenhouse and even a 20-year-old koi chilling out in a pond with his buddies.

The Wenatchee Business Journal sat down with Lynn recently to talk about her business – her labor of love to be more precise. The following is what was said:

Wenatchee Business Journal: What got you started in metal sculpture? 

LynnArt Gardens: I’ve always liked yard art and bought a few pieces many years ago. I kept acquiring old metal junk (tools, garden and farm implements) and used those for decorating my gardens. I had always used tools and enjoyed rustic woodworking.

WBJ: What are your favorite themes?  

LAG: I definitely enjoy making creatures of all types: animals, birds, reptiles, etc.  Pieces that highlight really nice old relics are fun. Sometimes my art shows humor and sometimes it’s just cute and makes people smile. 

WBJ: What are your most successful themed pieces sales wise? 

LAG: I’ve sold a lot of owls. I also make little steers that sell well.

WBJ: When did you found LynnArt Gardens and can you give a ballpark amount on how much it cost to do so?

LAG: I created LynnArt Gardens LLC in January 2020 and got my business license in March 2020. This is a home-occupied business, so I did not have to worry about rent. My biggest expense was making the entrance ADA (American Disability Act) compliant. Everything about the handrail, gate and fence is art. I commissioned Hillbilly Yart to create it. I invested about $10,000 to start the business.

WBJ: Do you have a mentor? 

LAG: Hillbilly Yart has been instrumental in making this gallery a success and has helped me expand and improve my skills. Occasionally, we collaborate on a piece.

How or what inspires you to create a piece? 

LAG: It usually starts with one piece of metal that looks like a key piece of the puzzle. Sometimes I decide to make a piece and I slowly gather parts over several months. I recently made a couple of pigs. Pigs are just too cute, so I kept my eye out at the scrap yard and eventually found a perfect piece to start a head.

WBJ: How expensive are your art pieces?

LAG: So far, my pieces range from $20 to $400.  I’m hoping to make some larger more intricate pieces in the future.

WBJ: Do you have mostly repeat customers or one timers? 

LAG: I have several repeat customers that continue to add to their collection.  Metal art is ideal for the waterwise/firewise landscaping that many people are creating.

WBJ: How do you get noticed in community --- word of mouth? 

LAG: Definitely word of mouth and Facebook. I have customers that bring every out-of-town visitor by as something unique to do in Wenatchee. 

WBJ: Does your company (meaning you) do any charitable work? 

LAG: We did a fund raiser event for the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society in August for the First Friday Garden Art Tour. All of our artists are animal lovers.  I think people that love art and gardens are also usually animal lovers too. We have definitely sold a lot of dog and cat pieces. 

I’ve also donated pieces for the 911 Telecommunicators Week in April for the last few years.

WBJ: Are there spiritual ideas that get you through the day artistically?

LAG: Working in my gardens, hands in the soil, enjoying nature is my grounding.

WBJ: You retired from the Army after 17 years so do you ever do military themed pieces?

LAG: I am acquiring parts to make a couple of pieces. The first piece will be a paratrooper for me.

WBJ: Do you accept consignments from other artists?

LAG: Yes, we have art from many different artists and are always looking for more local art.

WBJ: Name some of the locals in your Gardens?

LAG: Hillbilly Yart, Whimsical Art, Ted and Arena King, Ken Simpson, Jim O’Dell, Terry Johnson, Sharon Casteel, Joseph Grantham, Aimee Fadich, Cory Pearson and Chris Pennington.

WBJ: Is metal your only media?

LAG: It is the main seller, but we have lots of pottery, wood carvings, fused and stained glass, plants, painted rocks, concrete planters and mobiles.

WBJ: Can people commission custom artwork from you?

LAG: Yes, I usually reach out to the artist that is most suited to create what the customer is wanting.   

WBJ: Where do you get all that metal for your designs?

LAG:  I go shopping/treasure hunting at the scrap metal yard. I’ve also picked up large amounts of metal from estate sales. Now people are dropping things off.  I have a scrap bin and share the metal with other artists. Once the pile is picked over, I take the unusable stuff to the scrap yard and recycle. 

WBJ: Are there people you care to mention as LynnArt supporters?

LAG: My Mom has always loved art and has a good eye. She has given me several pieces of art she purchased from the Little Art Gallery where she volunteered in the ‘70s. My brother is a very skilled woodworker and has helped me outfit my shop. He was not too happy when the woodshop became a metal shop. The bulk of the woodshop has been delegated to the basement.

While Palmer was in the Army, she was an administrative/operations manager. She also learned map reading which led to becoming a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analyst. That skill is still helping her to this day.

“I was a 911 operator/dispatcher for the Chelan County Sheriff’s office after I retired. They needed someone who had a mapping/computer aptitude to take on a side project to create data for 911 and our dispatch system.  I continued with this additional duty when the local 911 centers merged to form RiverCom 911. This eventually led to a certification and a full-time job as a GIS Analyst.”

Next time you’re driving around town and want to treat your senses to an intense, but highly pleasing, tour through time and space, in an industrial/mechanical yet aesthetically natural world, stop in at LynnArt Gardens. Located at 302 N. Miller Street in Wenatchee.

Warning! You will be greeted by two loving corgis named Lola and Ziva (NCIS character), but they can’t wait to meet you and be sure to check out the koi pond.

Lynn can be reached at 509-860-2466 or via email: LPalmer@nwi.net. Her website is: LynnArt-Gardens.com. She can also be reached via FaceBook: @LynnArtPalmer or by Instagram: LynnArt Wenatchee.

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