Artist Lauri Luck plans a novel celebration for her own 60th birthday later this month. Instead of expecting gifts, she's creating 60 original pieces of art and giving them away to strangers.

But those who want her artistic treasures will have to hunt for them, because she's going to hide them all over Sonoma County.

Those who find find one of her small paintings or statues can keep them, but she'd love to have everyone bring them to her "60 at 60" party March 29 at her Sebastopol studio for a group photo.

"My real birthday is March 27, but we're doing the party after this treasure hunt," Luck said.

She'll start posting hints and clues about where to find her hidden artwork starting March 14 on her "60 at 60" web site and Facebook page.

"I'm putting out the clues out 10 at a time, every other day. Some of the art will be in plain sight and some will be hidden. You'll have to go to a park and look for specific bench or something," Luck explained.

"Will people look?" she mused. "I'd like to think so."

Luck's little art treasures will be scattered as far north as Guerneville and as far south as Petaluma, with some of them cached in Sebastopol, Forestville and Santa Rosa. She has recruited friends and family to help with the project.

"What I'm doing is highlighting all of the places that are special to me — the walking trails, parks, libraries, even some businesses," she said.

To make them safe to stash outside, the pictures will be painted on small squares of vintage redwood siding, provided by Luck's carpenter husband, Michael Boese.

"I usually use acrylic paint on paper," said Luck, who lives on the Russian River near Forestville. "A lot of my work includes the river itself, and the woods, but I also like animals."

The small-scale sculptures will be cut out plywood.

For her 50th birthday, 10 years ago, Luck created and exhibited 50 paintings in a show titled "50 at 50" at a Petaluma gallery.

This time she decided to take the idea a bit further.

"I felt the celebration need to be something different than just exhibit of the past 10 years of work," Luck said.

Luck is one of several tenants at the Sebastopol studio established by junk sculptor Patrick Amiot, and her studio space is a very social spot.

"I hold my 'Pie-Eyed' art parties there every weekend. I love to make pie, and once a month we have a guest artist," Luck said. "This time, the guest is me."

Track Lauri Luck's "60 at 60" art treasure hunt <a href=" ">here</a> or <a href="">here</a>.

The "Big Art Birthday Party &amp; Show," marking the end of the project will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the artist's studio, 2371 Gravenstein Highway S., Sebastopol.

(You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or )