Art, straw, and a daughter for inspiration

There is a 12 foot straw camel in Brian Sobaski’s yard. The neighbors must be getting used to it. There was a huge horse a couple years back, and an elephant last year.

Sobaski says there’s now a regular stream of SUV’s and other vehicles past the house as people seek out his Falcon Heights home.

The camel is the result of his artistic training and interest – and the Halloween desires of his young daughter. She wanted to be a Chinese princess a couple years ago, and when they visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and saw the terra cotta figures in the Chinese collection.

Sobaski says he thought, “I could do that.”

He’s got an interest in Bricolage, making art from materials at hand, and he’s been making scenery for Hollywood for years. He also likes the idea of green, recyclable sculpture.

So a huge horse soon appeared in his yard made from a wooden armature and straw.

The next year his daughter wanted to be an Indian princess, so an elephant was in order. He admits that the camel this year was his pick. He wanted to make something where he could work to give the animal more of a sense of movement. Another step forward was his discovery that landscaping cloth makes a fine-looking stomach.

Another innovation this year was to send out fliers to orchards, corn mazes and other autumnal businesses offering his services, and suddenly Brian Sobaski is very busy. He’s been doing three to four pieces a week: bears, pirates, scarecrows, a woolly mammoth, and even a Buddha. Each takes a day, or a day and a half, to finish.

He’s got several more to do in coming weeks and he’s having a lot of fun.

“On top of that I get an awesome photograph with my daughter on top,” he says. You can see more pictures of his creations at his website

  • Jo Ann Berger

    Brian is a genius. Not only is he adept with sculpture, but he makes hardscapes that are fabulous. We are very happy, repeat clients. And lucky friends!

  • erin sobaski

    I must agree with Jo Ann–Brian is a creative genius. I may be biased because he is my brother, but I’ve also been a witness to his talent since I’ve been born. And he now shares that gift with his beautiful daughter and my beautiful son. Hey, bro–can we get a giraffe in our front yard?

  • Emily

    Wow, I’ve driven by this guy’s house in Falcon Heights and it’s always a delight to see what’s new in his yard. So creative and I love his work.

  • Muree Larson-Bright

    Love reading about a local, eco- artist!

    Please keep these kind of stories coming!

  • diane ross

    Our Falcon Hts Environment Commission visited Brian and

    Kristina’s incredible organic garden spaces, front and back.

    Here again is creativity to match the camel, but their vegetables

    are family’s food. They utilize everything that nature provides,

    and the results are beautiful.

  • Margie

    Wow! Wish WE lived by these folks!!

  • geeta

    When Holiday time comes around

    Plastic creatures come out in abound

    You read about people who have to breathe the fumes

    Why decorate our yards in those reeky gnomes?

    Here’s someone who found a better way

    And it’s by far the coolest yard to this day!

  • Christie Healey

    Brian Sobaski has extraordinary vision and talent. Loved the elephant, the horse was amazing, and now a delightful camel. It really looks like it would set off at any moment. Love this annual appearance in Falcon Heights

  • Heidi

    These sculptures are amazing. I love the scale and the materials. Can’t wait to see what he does next!

  • Nina Semmelroth

    So we’re the lucky folks who get to live next door to all this fun and talent. I had to pull together a short notice fall wedding in my backyard – I just went to Brain and he created magic for us! Such a creative and generous spirit – we’re always eager to see what he does next.

  • jane Topley

    Brian is an amazing person and I am proud to have him as a son-in-law

  • Jimmy 1

    Greetings Cousin From The North!!$%#@!!!?%!!

    I am so proud of everything Brian has done for the world and the people and the animals he makes. When we drive by in our SUV, we sometimes wish he could make one like ours out of straw too. It’s kind of an animal, if you think about it long enough.


    Jimmy 1