Gary Parsel's Front Yard Sculptures

Good thing Gary Parsel doesn't live in one of those tract-home communities out in the Valley sprawl; If that were the case, the Phoenix-based artist would probably tick off his local homeowners association (who seem to get their collective panties in a bunch over the smallest eyesore).

That's because 61-year-old sculptor and art activist prefers to adorn the front yard of his historic 1930s-era home in the heart of CenPho with his funky, stucco and cement sculptures.

It's hard to miss Parsel's house when zooming along Seventh Street -- more than 30 of his sculptures, as well as a bizarre bazaar of junk, secondhand furniture, and assorted tschotchkes fill the front of the space. 

​There are a few large busts and tiki heads, including one 6-foot tiki-like piece situated next to a couple beach bums chillaxing in their Adirondack chairs. 

Parsel also has a yen for dogs and horses, as evidenced by the numerous sculptures of both creatures decorating both the house and front yard.

The porch is choking with a teaming mass of clunky junk. A robot-like figure made from rusted metal, bits of wire, and other cast-off electronics components watches over the house (and wards off any potential malcontent or graffiti taggers), which includes more than a dozen wooden ducks and other abandoned objets d'art

​Parsel says he's been creating sculptures for more than 25 years and has been exhibiting his work in his front yard and home for more than a decade. His residence is a popular stop during both First Friday and the annual Art Detour, although anyone interested in checking out his work can stop by any day.

Gary Parsel's residence is located at 538 East Willetta Street.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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