Down the rabbit hole

| 10 Feb 2012 | 03:01

Driving through the mosaic-embellished iron gates of the driveway to Luna Parc feels not unlike Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole, as one world peels away to expose a fantastical one just below the surface. It’s still colorless winter here, but the somber landscape only serves to accentuate this beacon of color against the desaturated hues of its surroundings. The home and creation of jewelry designer Ricky Boscarino, Luna Parc is an ever-growing and changing sculptural world. Over 23 years, Ricky has pieced this fairyland together out of re-used bits ranging from salvaged compound doors dating back to feudal China to vodka bottles. Several times a year he opens it to the public, for passersby to roam and remember that the world around us is still a wondrous place. At first glance Luna Parc seems impossible to grasp, but take a moment and the story behind the sculptured grounds begins to emerge. And as it is with most any piece of art, once you begin to understand the work, you get a glimpse of its creator as well. After I’d finished wandering the grounds, Ricky invited me back to his workshop, an outbuilding at the rear of the property. This is obviously where Ricky really lives. Art projects and tools cover the interior. It had finally started to rain, but in the workshop it was warm and dry. Here we sat, as Ricky unraveled a bit of the mystery behind Luna Parc. RT: What is Luna Parc? RB: Well let’s see. It’s a multi-level, multi-media environmental park. If I had to jump back 23 years ago to when I first bought the house, and project into the future, I would say its purpose is as an art institute where someone can come and attend a specific workshop, or even be inspired in their art just by osmosis. It’s a legacy which I wish to leave behind. The mission is to inspire, and to illustrate that there is another way of living. RT: Why is Luna Parc here, in the forests of Sandyston, N.J.? RB: I wanted property, I wanted privacy, and I wanted a fixer-upper. When I finally saw the place with the realtor, we walked across the bridge and as soon as I laid eyes on the house I knew it was the place I would spend the rest of my life. On the first day of my closing I was already ripping stuff out of the house. It has been nonstop every day since then. RT: Do you have a message to young artists out there? RB: It’s a difficult time we live in because of the economic climate, but that should not deter someone from pursuing a creative lifestyle. I think it’s a real tragedy when parents coerce their children to go into something just because it will make them money. That’s probably the bane of the creative world. The reality is – and this is the benefit of living in a creative culture, that people do value creativity. It is possible to support yourself through making art. If that’s what your goal is, then that’s what you should pursue. I always have school groups come throughout the year, and the message I leave with them is to live your art.