All for Love
Ranch resident celebrates milestone birthday by giving back
Posted on September 5, 2017
With all the turmoil in the world, one Rancho Santa Fe man felt like his community just needed a warm hug. Mike Lamb decided to do it with large-scale art installations interspersed throughout the area, using mixed media and taking various forms but sending an unvarying message: love. The first installation, Heart Rock Stack, debuted near Fairbanks Village Plaza, with additional works — Willow Girl, Duct Hearts, Snails, Box Guy, Willow God, and Butterflies — popping up each following week. He placed a total of seven pieces from July 6 to August 19. “I really just wanted to do something cool to give back to the community in which I live,” says Lamb, who enlisted the help of family and friends to pull off the project. “The feedback was unreal,” he says. “By the seventh and final piece, we had a ton of mystery and momentum in the community.”
He also used the art to pay tribute to loved ones he’s lost, integrating their names into the Box Guy installation. When others took notice and wanted to add their own loved ones’ names to the piece, he added canvases to accommodate their tributes. “I started with the names of six family members and friends who had passed, and put those names on the gurney of the heart medics. Within 24 hours all 50 canvases I purchased had been used. I bought 100 more, which lasted three days. There was no place to add more names, but someone hand-cut 100 additional pieces of paper so others could continue to write the names of those who have left us too soon.” While the structures are no longer on view, they now reside at Lamb’s house, where he revealed himself as the artist to guests at his recent 50th birthday celebration.
Photography by Vincent Knakal