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Red Dot History

The "RED DOT" beginnings were simple. Robert Ramos and Rick Carpenter, now known as the "RED DOT BOYS, " had volunteered to help Rick's twin brother, Randy, and his wife, Nancy, add a new addition on the second story of their newly acquired property in rural Kansas. Randy had given Rick a 53" steel hoop he had found on the property that had once held together a wooden wheel from a 19th century horse buggy. Rick, being a sculptor and fond of round shapes, adored the present and couldn't wait to use it in a new piece of sculpture.

After weeks of being in the country, both artists had a need to see some kind of art. While driving into town one evening, they conceived the idea of the "RED DOT". They had decided to use the newly acquired hoop to paint a large circle on one of Randy and Nancy's barns. The design was established, and the color had presented itself in a prior event.

Before Rick and Robert arrived in Kansas, the twins' father, Larry, and Randy went to buy a dog for the farm. They found the pup Randy wanted among a litter of golden retrievers, but because it wasn't weaned from it's mother, they would have to wait to take the pup home. Larry produced some red fingernail polish (which, for unknown reasons, he carried around in his truck), and they put a dab on the pup's head, which would allow them to find it when they returned in a few weeks. The dog (aptly named RED) had obliviously determined what color the DOT would be.

Rick and Robert sent Randy to the hardware store in town and completed a 53" red dot on his barn before he returned. Randy loved his new art and the "RED DOT BOYS" thought the story would end here.

A few days later Rick, Robert and Randy went into the small rural community store to buy supplies. They were swamped with questions from the other customers and even the clerks about the "RED DOT". This was the moment that Rick and Robert realized the importance of their creation. Farmers were talking about art and it's abstract meanings rather than the weather or their crops.

Rick and Robert continued to paint "RED DOTS" on their trek back home to Houston, Texas. They actively sought out new locations and environments to display their new public art. There are "RED DOTS" from coast to coast and in-between. Soon the demand inside the cities was overwhelming. They began to charge for DOTS placed in urban areas to help defray the cost for the ones in rural areas. To this day, the "RED DOT" is free to those living in America's heartland.

And from a simple idea and a simple image, the RED DOT BOYS continue to succeed in having people think about, and (more importantly) talk about art and its exposure in the community.

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