The Tampa Bay area has no shortage of outsider art camps, DIY castles, and other one-of-a-kind creative homes (a short list of which includes Whimzeyland, Hong Kong Willie, Solomon’s Castle, and the Blueberry Patch), but there’s always room for one more, especially if it happens to be in the quirky, artist-friendly city of Dunedin. That’s what artists Carol Sackman and Blake White discovered when they moved to the area from Tarpon Springs in 2000 and began methodically converting nearly every wall of their home—interior and exterior—into a massive mosaic work of art.
The couple was inspired by some of the many outsider art parks and homes that they had seen over the years, such as Paradise Garden, but they noticed that some of these locations had fallen into disrepair. Clearly, certain mediums were better suited to live in and maintain than others. To withstand time and elements, they chose ceramic tiles (which they create themselves) and found objects as the primary mosaic materials with which to decorate their jaw-dropping abode. Each section/room is signed and dated as they complete it.
After 20 years, nearly every room is covered either in colorful art that they’ve created there in their respective studios, or works that they’ve acquired or traded for. The back patio features not only their own mosaic, titled Turquoise Mayan Dream, but also a mural they commissioned by Jennifer Kosharek. Inside are stained glass windows and pieces by other artists ranging from local Ed Derkevics to Howard Finster to Carol’s own grandfather, along with plenty of antiques and hand-made furniture, atop which their cats can often be found sunbathing.
Much of the art inside and outside the house has a folk/visionary/spiritual style incorporating influences spanning Hindu and Egyptian mythology, Christian and Jewish mysticism, Buddhism, and more. All of these elements are fused together by the couple’s goal of creating an uplifting environment, and, of course, by copious quantities of plaster.
Know Before You Go
The couple regularly offers art classes. They also are happy to provide tours for individuals or groups, preferably by appointment, which can be made via email or phone by visiting their Facebook page.