Artful monstrosities: Sculptures will decorate the lawn near Edward Bernard Gallery for month of September

Thursday, August 28, 2008

If you're traveling on West Drive in the next few days, don't be alarmed by the metal monstrosities outside the Edward Bernard Gallery.

When most people think of a sculpture, clay or ice might come to mind. But clay can break and ice will melt. Metal, on the other hand, is malleable and is a durable medium from which to create art.

Starting Sept. 5, the Edward Bernard Gallery will host "Sculpture on the Green," showcasing a variety of work from 12 Cape Girardeau area artists outside the gallery. Inside the gallery, work from Louisville, Ky.-based metal sculptor Richard Kolb will be featured.

Kolb creates what he calls "Yardbirds" and "Junkyard Dogs and Cats," by turning scrap metal and recycled farm parts into different animals. He made a chicken from some scraps and an old cast iron skillet. A hedgehog made from saw blades, a squirrel holding a nut (that screws onto a bolt) and a St. Bernard — the bulk of which was fashioned from an old propane tank and garden tools, car parts, farm implements, bicycle parts and mufflers — will also be on display.

If it's metal, Kolb will incorporate it into an unconventional work of art. He said his projects are not only aesthetically pleasing but good for the environment — his art saves metal scraps from ending up in a landfill. Kolb said people enjoy identifying the parts that he uses to twist metal into art. A simple tilt of the head, according to Kolb, can give a sculpture so much personality.

On the green outside the gallery, there will be metal sculptures from artists like Nathan Pierce, who specializes in fusing wood to his metalwork, Edwin Smith and Chris Wubbena from Southeast Missouri State's art department. All of the work, both inside and outside, will be for sale.

Gallery owner Pam McDougall said she is not an artist herself but is, in her opinion, "the greatest appreciator of art."

"Sculpture on the Green" will be on display through Sept. 27.

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