BOUNTIFUL - One person’s junk is another person’s work of art.
Proof of that can be found at Lamplight Art Gallery’s found objects exhibit, running now through the end of the month. The largely sculptural collection focuses on the transformative possibilities found in a variety of everyday items, from CDs and scraps of metal to old tree trunks.
The exhibit is mostly playful, with many of the artists not even signing their works (or, in some cases, signing them “me.”) A tribal mask has been outfitted to handle Utah winters, while metal scraps turn a bit of fence into a cheerful, curly-haired person carrying a bucket.
In “Technoflora,” a collection of CDs has been turned into flowers via scratch art, while another nameless piece turns a cascade of feathers and old souvenir dream catchers into a golden waterfall.
Some artists searched nature for their objects. Barbara Gustaveson brought a collection of shells back to the beach for her elegant “Beach Combing,” while Stan Elmer combined an old stump with one of his favorite painting techniques for the fun, energetic “Wood’N Ya Know.”
Scott Durrant brought the found objects out to nature for his collection of starkly elegant, surprisingly detailed aluminum foil flowers. There are also some pie pans in the bouquet, all of it twisted, and flared in complicated designs to beautifully mimic the shapes found in nature.
Other pieces, though, focused on simplicity. Gary Jensen turned a socket from a car he hasn’t owned in years into a candlestick, altering the original item only minimally in order to transform it. The clean, simple lines, and the subtle ornamentation of what was probably originally gear teeth meant to help it fit into the car, turn out to be surprisingly artistic.
Sometimes, the best way to turn junk into something beautiful is to recognize the beauty that was already there.