Galion artist working with Best Haunted Mansion in the World
Inside an unassuming building in Galion lies an art studio. Some familiar movie memorabilia and album covers created by the artist over the years now sit on tables or hang on the walls. The artist emerges from the back, where he has been working through the night to complete new work for a haunted house in Las Vegas. At 10:30 that morning, Sean (pronounced “seen’) Rodgers is ready to go home and hit the mattress.
The artwork Rodgers creates is not for the faint of heart. While he has worked as a makeup/special effects artist for movies and designed some clubs and restaurants—most recently the Cleveland Pickle—Rodgers specializes in “torture art.” Most of his projects look like something one might find in the “Saw” movies. His specialty? Using baby dolls to create horrifying, macabre scenes. You’ve been warned.
He moved into the Galion studio in March of 2011. There is one large room used to design and create projects, an office, three storage rooms and a molding room. Full size statues stand in the back. On one table a baby sits on a rocking horse holding a knife. Beside it, a baby sits in a high chair with a pistol in its hand and an exit wound the size of a quarter at the top of its skull.
- If Murder and Evil had a child, it would look like this.
In addition to dolls (or pieces of them), Rodgers’ art usually contains scrap metal and anything else he finds. He uses mostly recycled materials for his work, buying as much as he can at thrift stores, yard sales and on eBay. Other people collect for him as well. “It’s all green friendly. I’m saving the planet one cut off head at a time,” he joked.
He also takes molds of people’s heads and attaches the molds to creepy backdrops. Musicians like Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue, Sixx:A.M.) and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) have already expressed interest in coming to his studio for him to create molds of their heads.
Recently the artist signed on to produce some work for a company opening “The Best Haunted Mansion in the World” in Las Vegas. The attraction is more than just a spooky house for people to walk through and get some cheap scares. It also has a bar lounge and a stage for live bands.
Best Haunted Mansion will be open year round and is owned by Eli Roth, who wrote and directed horror films like “Cabin Fever” and “Hostel.” The attraction opens at the end of September, and Rodgers said he and business manager Jack Bruce will be flying out for its grand opening.
- Sean Rodgers, who has an art studio in Galion, stands by some of his creations.
He added that he is excited to see the opening but has a lot to do for the project between now and then. Rodgers will be creating 4x10 window panels for the main lobby and some other artwork. He explained that when he was creating some samples to send, he attached the front half of a doll head to a saw blade. The people from the company people loved it and ordered over 200 of them, saying that they might need more.
The building his office inhabits flooded when the major storm in late June hit the area, which has created some difficulty in continuing his work. He’s had to cram materials into the limited space he has, remove some carpet and pump out standing water while also preparing work for Best Haunted Mansion.
Regardless, Rodgers said he is happy that he opened his studio in Galion, where he also now lives. “I like this town. The people here have been great,” he said.