ROSE HILL – It is hard to miss Jurassic Art on the edge of Rose Hill.
Located on Rosewood Street (63rd Street in Sedgwick County) just west of Rose Hill Road, Jurassic Art was named for the Jurassic and Triassic period from which many of Phil Brinkley’s dinosaur art pieces were inspired.
Brinkley, a retired Cessna employee who worked 40 years before retiring this past September, said he bought a welder in the late 1990s and learned to use it from his brothers-in-law and father-in-law.
“I picked it up pretty quick and decided to start building some artwork,” he said. “I built one of the dinosaurs in the yard, and one thing led to another, and now I have a yard full of them.”
Brinkley and his wife Margaret married in 1974 and moved to Rose Hill a year later. Phil said he has made well over 1,000 items in the past 15 years.
“I used to keep record,” he said. “I stopped keeping a record a couple of years ago.”
In addition to the numerous items on display in his yard, Phil has sold several art pieces. He put a serial number on some so they can be traced.
“If it’s a really nice piece or it’s going into Wichita on consignment at another art shop or whatever, then I usually serialize it and initial it and I kept track of all those,” he said.
Currently he is working on a 15-foot chrome knight, similar to a 7-foot one in his yard, for Trinity Academy in Wichita.
“They saw my knight and dragon out in the front yard and said, ‘We’d like to have one like that but bigger,’” he said. “I’ve never built anything quite that big upright, so it’s going to be a challenge.”
Margaret said she was hesitant at first when Phil began filling their yard with his artwork.
“I had just put in a bunch of really pretty trees and went to work that morning and came home and there was this 15-foot dinosaur sitting between the trees,” she said. “It was a shock at first and then people started coming in and saying they enjoyed seeing the pieces and thought it was really cool and so now it’s just one of those things you get used to. He’s going to put something new out there every so often and you just gotta roll with it.”
Phil said he gets a lot of his scrap metal from farm and estate auctions. His artwork can be found all over the United States and in three other countries: Canada, Germany and Puerto Rico.
Those who want to look at his art are encouraged to do so. He has a circular drive and people do not have to request permission to look around, he said.
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