Everyday Inspiration

A local couple creates backyard art with their love of the unexpected.
Partners in life and art: Russ Vogt and Suzanne Rooney.


The red barn on Russ Vogt and Suzanne Rooney’s 10-acre property houses a mystery—one even they often don’t understand. The floor and shelves are scattered with colorful ceramic shapes: circles, discs, hollow forms.

The puzzles behind the barn's double doors are ones they’ve created together and may take days, weeks or months to solve. He works quickly, choosing pieces from the ground, stacking them on metal rods set in cement. She follows behind, making sure everything is properly placed, swapping out pieces when they’re not quite right.

From these elements the Plymouth couple works side by to side to craft colorful, eye-popping sculptures—piece by piece, rod by rod. Vogt began working in sculpture in the early 1990s and has made thousands of pieces since.

 What keeps him at it? “It’s the chance of discovering something new,” Vogt said.

He often begins with an idea, but as he works, his creation takes on a life of its own, often ending up exceeding his original intentions.