Over the past year, I have had the personal pleasure of getting to know the fabulous artist, skateboarder, husband, father, and awesome human being that is Joe Ryckebosch. You may have caught a glimpse of him around town skateboarding, walking his adorable dog Scooter down one of our historic brick streets, or playing with his super cute daughter, Frances. He is the epitome of “cool” and I do not use that term lightly. I could not wait to pin him down and pick his brain about his art, family, and life in the MOV.
So, first things first, what brought you to Marietta?
Sara, my wife, grew up out here and her parents still live here. We have a 4 year old daughter, Frances, and she loves living near them. We did not have that type of support network back in Portland, OR. So we packed up shop and headed to the MOV!
Let’s talk about your art. When you find the “found” pieces for your artwork, do you immediately have a plan that pops into your head for the piece? If not, what is the process?
Yeah, many times I will stumble across a good find at thrift store or yard sale and start plotting things right then and there. I actually really enjoy when that happens. It usually indicates that I will take the piece home and begin work on it right away. Sometimes, while working on the piece, the original direction changes a bit, but the basic idea still remains from the moment I saw it. The entire process of seeking out the piece, taking it apart, deconstructing it, and the putting it all back together again in a new light is very appealing to me. I’d say it’s very therapeutic.
What are your favorite activities to do in MOV?
I really enjoy the summer here, albeit that humidity does not bode well with my West coast past. This place is so entirely different than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. I’d say the summers here are almost tropical in a way, though I’ve never been to the tropics before. Sara and I both really enjoy the Rivers Trails and Ales fest that occurs in mid-August. We love kayaking down Muskingum and then going for a round of tasty ales at the Galley or MBC. I’m also an avid skateboarder, so it is fun to seek out new spots around town, or hit up the skatepark for a quick session. Also, just riding bikes around on the river trail is awesome. We tow Frances in a bike trailer and more than likely end up at Cone and Shake after a long ride for Royal Slushies’ and chocolate dipped cones. Good stuff, and Frances’ favorite place in town!
So, what is your go-to place for a bite and/or pint?
I’d say the Galley and MBC. Sara and I also really love the food out at House of Wines off of Route 60 (is that the correct road?) The House of Wines probably has one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Seriously, it is delicious, and coming from Portland, OR where the “best burger” competition is tough, I’d say House of Wines’ burger is right up there at the top! I’m hungry now.
Anything coming to mind as ‘best kept secret’ in Marietta?
The hidden paw paw grove on one of our family walks. I’m not sayin’ where it is!
Ok, from all of your travels, I am dying to know this. If you could snap your fingers and something– anything– would appear here in the MOV, what would it be and why?
A great, independently owned coffee shop downtown that opens early and stays open late. One that hosts art exhibits and regular music events/shows. Also, maybe a cool little skateboard shop so I can buy gear locally.
Do you have any sage advice for those relocating, or thinking of relocating to the area?
Hmmm…Keep an open mind and always pursue the things you love. Marietta seems like a place with a lot of artistic and talented individuals. I’ve met a lot of great people in a short amount of time. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t let the small town gossip take over. Make a change and make a difference. A small town like Marietta does so much better when people have open minds and accept others for who they are, not what they think they should be.
So what is next for Joe?
I will also have a booth set up at the Marietta Marketplace on June 21st, so definitely stop by and see me there! My art will also be featured at Thrive Cafe in downtown Marietta in August, so stop by there too. You know, just keep pushin’ ahead. Keep making art and keep the individualistic dream alive and well in small town USA.
Learn more about Joe, and his art, here!