One of the most unique outdoor art collections within Carson City can be found at the corner of Arrowhead and Emerson Drives in north Carson at what is today called “Romo Ranch.”
The eye first focuses on Lady Godiva before roaming on to the various other objects d’art created by artists-in-residence Rudy and Lisa Romo.
The humble ranch house becomes almost obscured — there’s so art much to take in. Not only does just about every object you see have a story, so does the home.
Once owned by Bill Anderson, former owner of the Ponderosa Ranch and for whom Rudy worked for many years at the theme park, Rudy purchased the home in 1992 and states, “This home was built by Anderson to resemble the ranch house of the fictitious Cartwrights, and I worked on it for many years on my off hours before being able to buy it.” Anderson also gave him many antiques seen around the property — inside and out.
As you look around the property, you will see half an airplane affixed to the east side of the home, various salvaged iconic signs, structures made of various parts recycled to look like robots and more causing some visitors to knock on the door to ask, “What is all this? A bar, antique store, or what?” Rudy and Lisa enjoy explaining what they are doing, stating, “We even have buses come by allowing the passengers to disembark to take photos.”
As for his iconic Lady Godiva, Rudy salvaged her from destruction bringing her home to his ranch as one of his first art structures. “She was once one of the very first things you saw when you entered the Kings Castle Hotel -now the Hyatt Regency Incline Village — but at that time, she was naked. Today, Lady Godiva is dressed for the season or the holiday causing many to smile and go out of their way to see her latest costume.
Rudy married Lisa in 2012 and since then, the collection and art project has grown. As Lisa states, “We are both artists, but Rudy has the natural ability, while I was trained in art school.” Rudy calls her his “muse,” and one never knows when the next artistic whim might strike.
Driving by this residence for years has always made me smile and want to stop for a photo. I did just that last weekend and can’t wait to see what’s next in this visually stimulating yard. Thank you, Lisa and Rudy, for bringing unique art to the corner of Arrowhead and Emerson and giving us occasion to smile!