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Art-Covered Home Turns Quiet Street into Outdoor Gallery

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Inspired by childhood visits to Santa Barbara's now-demolished "House of a Thousand Paintings," architect Jeff Shelton constructed a house covered top-to-bottom in artwork in the middle of an otherwise unremarkable Santa Barbara neighborhood. It looks surprisingly rad, given how easily a project like this might descend into hokeyness—the lime-green tint and the patterning on the roof really bring the place together—but the real surprise here is how hassle-free the approval process was: no fights with developers, and aside from a few angry notes, no hassle from neighbors, even though the Vera Cruz House is surrounded by neutral-colored, non-painting-covered homes. Shelton and artist Richard Wilke each created about 60 of the panels covering the home, and for the rest, he handed out canvases to local artists, requesting that they paint something from a place they had travelled to, or where they grew up.

There were a few caveats, though: no nudity, profanity, or political statements, and (much more important, in our estimation,) depictions of rainbows, clowns, or dolphins were out of the question. The paintings were done in UV paint, and finished with a protective coating to help them last and weather the elements, but Shelton's OK with them eventually needing to be replaced. "It will be different in 10 years, in 20 years, and so will we," he noted to the Santa Barbara Noozhawk, rather wistfully, we imagine.

· Vera Cruz House on Santa Barbara Street a Colorful Work of Art [Noozhawk]