Richard Satula’s massive-rig art gallery is the extremely definition of a modern-day roadside attraction.
For just above a calendar year now, the eye-catching 18-wheeler truck has occupied a modest but notable scrap of land at the south-japanese edge of Petaluma exactly where Adobe Street meets Phase Gulch Highway. Emblazoned with the phrases “Sandra’s Cell Artwork Gallery” and a big pair of portraits of ornately-attired Victorian-period women of all ages, the 48-foot-extensive semi-trailer effortlessly catches the consideration of motorists.
In accordance to Satula, as soon as people capture a glimpse of the neon “open” signal and the bright yellow sandwich-board out front that reads “Hand Manufactured Presents, Toys, Crafts, Etcetera.” — a good amount of drivers cease to see what particularly is on display inside that truck.
“Sometimes, in a single working day I see just a person human being, in some cases 10,” he said. “I assume I normal five or 6 individuals a day, one thing like that. It is dependent. I’m retired, so I really do not head. We never make a good deal of money from it, but that is all right. I do this for my wife.”
Sandra Satule is the painter whose operate is exhibited within the substantial, 16-foot-large trailer, which Satula frequently keeps open from 8 a.m. to all around 10 p.m. at night. Until he’s off on an errand or providing a portray to a consumer, he can commonly be discovered at the truck gallery, completely ready and ready to present passing motorists about and to tell then about his wife’s function.
“She’s an artist. She life to paint. She simply cannot dwell devoid of it,” he reported.
The couple, both of those originally from Lithuania, dropped properties in two unique wildfires in 2018 and 2020, in Shasta County. The devastating losses led instantly, if not instantly, to the generation of Sandra’s Cellular Artwork Gallery.
“We had just purchased our 2nd dwelling, and five months afterwards, a further fire,” Satula spelled out. “Before we bought it, I requested persons if there have ever been fires there, in close proximity to our next household, and people today mentioned not for the final 200 decades. So we purchased the house and five weeks afterwards it was long gone.”
Earlier to the fires, Satule operated a much more regular art studio, in an genuine developing in Redding.
“In that to start with hearth, she missing 60 paintings, and every little thing else,” Satula reported. “We experienced 2 or 3 minutes to depart. We could not conserve something, so she misplaced all of her machines, and then we acquired it all again. And then, after the past hearth, when she lost every thing all around yet again, she acquired really depressed and explained, ‘No. I’m not heading to do it any more.’”
For 6 months, Satula said, Satule could not provide herself to paint.
“So with the insurance policy income, in its place of shopping for another dwelling, we acquired a big boat, and I acquired this rig,” he described.
The truck experienced been place up for sale in San Diego, Satula said.
“We went there. We drove down to San Diego, but I did not tell her about the truck,” he stated. “When we received there I stated, ‘Wait in this article in the auto,’ and when I came back again, I was driving this rig. She mentioned, ‘What are you carrying out?’ I stated, ‘This is heading to be your new art gallery.’”
Apparently, the idea of an art gallery within a truck was adequate to resuscitate Satule’s artistic inspiration.
“She started coming back again from her despair,” Satula said. “And now she paints all the time. She will work 10 hrs a working day. But she is effective in oil paints, and that can take a though to dry, and she can only paint a person shade at a time, so she will work on a whole bunch of paintings at at the time, one soon after the other. And if the oil is not dry however on any of them, she can make jewellery, or she will make toys. She’s usually occupied. It is what helps make her satisfied.”
Satule stays on the boat, a a few-story yacht harbored in Rio Vista, in Solano County, and visits with new paintings just about every 10 times or so, Satula said. When visiting, she paints there in the truck, in a particular studio place in the massive cabin. Asked why he chose this particular spot off of Stage Gulch Road — which he rents from the assets proprietor — on which to park the rig and establish their roadside art gallery, Satula’s remedy is as uncomplicated as it is functional.
“It’s a huge rig,” he claimed. “There are not that several spots to cease and park.”
The unconventional arrangement fits him, he explained. It keeps him hectic, and he’s enjoys assembly people today, although it can be some thing of a obstacle to sustain this sort of an procedure inside of a truck that, regardless of being massive, continue to has constraints.
“I’m advertising all the time, but the house I have is the place I have,” he explained. “Like, yesterday I bought that just one there.”
He details to an vacant space on the wall of the truck. “That wants a 30 inch by 40 inch painting, so I referred to as her and mentioned, ‘I require a 30 by 40, and I need to have a 24 by 36 and I just marketed a 60 by 48 so I need a further a person of those.’ And future time she arrives, we’ll have the paintings to fill the place.”