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Phinneywood Destination Art: Skelly

Guest Reporter: Jamie Clausen

Neighbors walking along N 70th Street between Fremont and Dayton would have difficulty not spotting Skelly, the 12-foot skeleton in the front yard of 548 N 70th Street.  This piece of ever-changing public art is both the latest in sculptor Brian Wallace’s work and very much a family affair. 

The family purchased Skelly, the floor model of a very popular, if slightly impractical, Halloween decoration sold at Home Depot in 2020.  Brian thought it would be something to bring some extra fun to the holiday, with so much else curtailed by the pandemic.  He did not fully consider the long-term storage issues involved in the purchase.  From that lucky lack of foresight came Skelly’s life as an art piece and neighborhood icon. 

With his trusty art assistants, James, age 6, and Stella, age 8, Brian decided to see if he could delay taking Skelly down and putting him in storage by repurposing him for Thanksgiving.  The result got such a positive public reaction that he hasn’t come down since.

Thus far, Skelly has been decorated for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and now Easter.