When driving through the neighborhood northwest of Wyoming and Montgomery boulevards, some may come across a house deemed eclectic by nearby residents.
Artist and sculptor Shane Shane said he started the venture of decorating his front yard 13 years ago when he moved to Albuquerque from Belen for his kids to attend the Albuquerque Academy.
“It took years to evolve into what it is now,” Shane said.
Rock balancing art, called cairns, were often used as landmarks in the past, as well as burial monuments, for hunting and defense or even to map astronomical markers.
In modern times, it’s an art, hobby or — to some — can be a form of vandalism. There are also worldwide rock balancing competitions. Here in the Southwest, it is a very popular form of yard decoration and can be seen, big or small, on sides of trails and highways as well.
Shane says he has created this rock balancing oasis not only for decoration but also for the local fauna, such as lizards escaping roadrunners, to have a place of refuge.
There are three or four dozen cairns or other forms of rock art lining the inner and outer sidewalks of the home.
Shane’s sculptures can also be seen in the front yard, including his traveling exhibit, called the Biodiversity Sphere. The sphere, which is lit with a fire in the center when on display, has 45 endangered species depicted on the 5-foot sculpture made of steel mounted atop a chariot. The rear lists all the species represented.
Shane said he takes his exhibit to festivals like Burning Man, and that people enjoy the story of evolution told on this sculpture.
There is also the steel “Dead Man,” where Shane attached every way possible to kill a man with a spear, bullet holes, poison and a sword to depict how different cultures defend themselves.
Shane invites to people to enjoy the experience of his art. Residents jogging by or walking their dogs said they like and appreciate the assorted art pieces adorning Shane’s corner lot home have brought their children to take a gander.
Shane is also a horticulturist and avid rock collector. “I collect rocks from all over the country on my travels, and they all come back here to be displayed in my yard; if I hadn’t been an artist, I would have been a geologist,” he said.
Although Shane does not have any upcoming exhibits, he said he is selling his Fire Sphere to the right person, but until then passersby can continue to enjoy Shane’s art from his yard.