Elrock Sculpture Garden (Mount Airy, NC)
In Mount Airy, there is a little ice cream stand called Scoops Ice Cream & Such. Run out of a van by Chazz Elstone, Scoops is a favori...
In Mount Airy, there is a little ice cream stand called Scoops Ice Cream & Such. Run out of a van by Chazz Elstone, Scoops is a favorite of many from Mount Airy.
But Scoops Ice Cream & Such holds a secret. If you look at the home next door, you'll see signs leading you to the woods. We suggest you follow them because they lead to the Elrock Sculpture Garden.
In addition to running an ice cream stand, Chazz Elstone is a very talented artist. We caught up with him and asked him about his sculpture garden, which got its name from a from a nickname Elstone inherited in the '70s.
How did you get into art and why did you choose this particular medium?
I took welding in high school, and several jobs I have had over the years had, by necessity, a welding component to them, including a landscaping/trucking business where I accumulated a scrap pile of odd shapes. One day I just started welding things I saw from the pile and voila--the rest is history!
When we lived in western New York I did the art show circuit for about ten years. I have sold over 400 pieces since that first "Bug" I brought home and stuck on the porch.
Which came first, Scoops or the sculpture garden?
We moved to Mount Airy in 2006 and four years later we opened our ice cream shop, Scoops Ice Cream & Such. The Elrock Sculpture Garden happened pretty much simultaneously, although I had dreamed of some kind of sculpture park for years.
What is your favorite piece in the garden?
My favorite piece is probably "The Old Rugged Cross" at the entrance to the woods trails. That area, subtitled "Scriptures In Steel," is all based loosely on Biblical ideas, and includes a Creation series, a Passion path, and a Chapel area.
There are probably 40 sculptures across the yard, and another 50 or so through the woods. I am constantly adding and changing things.
Why is the treehouse there?
The tree house idea came about when my grandkids were here. We just started building and later, when I saw the movie War Room, I decided to leave it open, add some sticky pads, and see what would happen.
We've seen some of your art installed in downtown Mount Airy. How did that come about?
Mount Airy has been very good to us, by providing sculpture sites throughout the city. 10 so far, and more to come. My favorite piece uptown is "Jubilation" in Lowry Park, just around the corner from Snappy Lunch, on Main Street at Pine Street West.
What To Know Before You GoGPS Coordinates: (36.481662, -80.760159)
Location: 5091 West Pine Street, Mount Airy, NC