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Impossible Things Happen Here

Shea Stanfield~ 2/18/2015

“Sometimes as many as six impossible things happen before breakfast here!” ~ an exuberant statement by Alice, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  Alice could have just as well been expressing her excitement over local artist, Eddie Sparr’s whimsical, fantastical, and imaginative work.

Getting his start in Southern California, Eddie inherited the creative, “can do” spirit early on.  At the age of ten, Eddie moved with his family to Northern Colorado far from the smog and traffic of the Los Angeles basin. In the cool, crisp air of the Rocky Mountains, Eddie nurtured a relationship with mechanical, as well as biological objects that fascinated him in their “likeness” to one another. This intrigue in commonalities has been a theme in Eddie’s work throughout his creative career.  The last ten years Eddie has enjoyed the desert Southwest right here in Arizona, working from his home studio in Cave Creek.

Eddie earned a B.A. degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of Northern Colorado where he was fortunate to have Eugene Hoffman, an internationally known artist for his assemblage pieces “that turn everyday refuse into stunning works of art,” as one of his professors. Eddie credits Hoffman with having the most influence on his current sculptures. While working on his first job, Eddie met Charles Hensley, a well known and accomplished wood carver, that mentored Eddie for a few years imparting the basics of sound design, balance, and style in three-dimension.   

As the Gryphon would observe, from the pages of Wonderland, “The adventures first! Explanations take such a dreadful amount of time!” In this spirit, Eddie assembles the most unlikely mechanical objects into an exciting array of objects, animals, flying machines, and household or garden objects, all full of the adventure of discovery, challenging to the imagination and bound to create a sense of wonder, excitement, and endless conversation. The observer never tires of the journey through, around, over or under in the visual dissection of the sculpture’s numerous parts, a most enchanting experience for the mind and senses.

To bring his art and the work of other area artists into the community, Eddie opened Retrofit, a new gallery and sculpture garden, located in Carefree. The interior and exterior space of the gallery and garden are located just behind the Shell Gas Station on the corner of Tom Darlington and Cave Creek Roads. The space is host to 20 area artists, exhibiting 200 pieces of sculpture and paintings. In addition to gallery space, Retrofit offers instruction in welding and custom-designed “Man Caves” by prop designer and business partner Todd Nicklas. The garden space invites the most creative minds to transform it into a “repurposed Wonderland” for the community to enjoy.  Retrofit is open 7 days a week from 10-5 at 7203 E. Cave Creek Road, Carefree, AZ.  For more information on Eddie Sparr’s art or Retrofit Gallery, contact the creative minds at (602) 214-4660.