A sign outside Dick & Jane’s Spot reads “What is this place?” What is this place, indeed? It’s a 37 year project in the making, a constantly evolving collaboration between outsider artists Richard C Elliot (1945-2008) and Jane Orleman that also serves as their home. As old pieces decay, they are replaced and restored, and thus Dick & Jane’s spot is in a constant state of flux–each year, there’s a new postcard for sale via a vending machine in the front yard that reflects the changes to the installation. Work from almost fifty other artists graces the yard as well. The Spring 2015 update outside the house describes Dick & Jane’s Spot as “What is this place: Art for the heart, from the heart, in the heart of Washington. Remember, one hearty laugh is worth ten trips to the doctor.”
The art and joyful spirit of Dick & Jane’s Spot did warm my heart and make me laugh multiple times. Their use of reflectors also reminded me powerfully of another outsider art house I visited in 2010: the now-demolished RichArt’s ArtYard. And the “you are beautiful” on the gate reminded me of Chicago’s “You Are Beautiful” project. Dick & Jane’s Spot, YOU are beautiful. And no one is going to miss you at night.