Indoors Outdoors: Home Depot House at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

As a volunteer guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for more than a decade, I should be accustomed to changes indoors  with each new exhibit  and outdoors with each new artwork. Yet some changes still startle me.

For instance, in late September  at the top of the steps near the museum entrance a huge crane deposited  a wood cabin newly constructed by John C. Gonzalez and his fellow Home Depot workers. It’s called Home Depot House. In April the cabin will be gone again, after housing  a succession of  six artists in residence, for one month each. Click for deCordova’s  images and information about artist/curator John C. Gonzalez and the other five artists: Jessica Gath, Nicole Delanos,Wilson Lawrence,John Osorio-Buck ,Thomas Willis.

Unfortunately, I’ve missed two of the four artists in residence so far, including Jessica Gath, who incidentally baked and shared fruit pies. Certainly I’ll do my best to  see the remaining two and  encourage anyone who can to do the same. This series of residencies is an unusual opportunity to see and talk with artists creating work. It is distinct from seasonal  open studios where artists show completed work or possibly demonstrate a process. It is definitely distinct from an exhibit opening with stylish outfits, fancy foods, and social distractions.

Updated March 3,click on  this  link to post about  John Osorio-Buck, artist raising and serving crickets at Home Depot House.

The six artists have related their projects to the  unique space, so their actions might differ from what they do  in their own studios.  They must adapt to the Home Depot House, the park, the Biennial, season, weather, and visitors of all ages. We get to view  artists  improvising, exploring, connecting  or rethinking as they meet these challenges.

Above are images from the current residency(through February 9) with Wilson Harding Lawrence .

Last Saturday I was  photographing what I  thought was a completed stretch of  elegantly overlapping shingles that Lawrence had methodically constructed  along the exterior back wall of the cabin. Suddenly and swiftly, the artist dismantled the whole piece!  When I questioned him, he explained that he had just been trying something out. It wasn’t working yet. He might let go and reconstruct many times until it did. He called this process “the Buddhist part” of his work.

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Read more about what Lawrence does in a review of his  exhibit,“Skin Deep” at Montserrat College of Art. View photos of the art.

As a guide I always hope to convey how much artists think and do before their work is ready to show. The Process Gallery at the museum is a great resource for that. And right now the series of residencies in Home Depot House is rich with  living, breathing artists who are open to being watched and questioned, on weekends from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. This house has really hit home! 

Photos of Home Depot House in transit from Home Depot in Rhode Island,  John C. Gonzalez deCordova Preview, Temporary Land Bridge site.

Update March 17:  John C. Gonzalez shared this link to a video  which adds valuable  background, context and visuals to my understanding of Home Depot House. 


  1. Judy Fosdick · · Reply

    Deb, this Home Depot House is truly an interesting outdoor, but also indoor project for the museum. I am so glad to know about it. I will make sure that I get to see it before the house is lifted onto the trailer and carted away. Thank you for your dedication to recording and commenting on outdoor art. Your reflections, as always, are thought-provoking. THANKS Just Fosdick


  2. So interesting! I especially appreciate your interaction with the artist, Wilson Lawrence. You really caught him in the midst of his process.

    These posts are little gems, Deb!


  3. […] will transform the space once more. ) For background about Home Depot House, read my earlier post, Indoors Outdoors, Home Depot House.  If you visit Home Depot House  while  John Osorio-Buck is there, he might offer you a […]


  4. […] John Osorio-Buck, Artist with Crickets at Home Depot House Indoors Outdoors: Home Depot House at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum […]


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