Canton artists display eco-friendly exhibit

Brittany Schmigel

In today’s “go green” society, artists at the Canton Museum of Art are salvaging other’s trash to create their treasures.

On display through March 7, the exhibit “Something from Nothing: Contemporary Recycled Sculpture from America’s Rustbelt” is featuring freestanding sculptures from 13 artists from the Rust Belt, who live in states ranging from Minnesota to New Jersey.

“I went out and found artists that are into scrap art or recycled art,” said Pat Buckohr, curator and professional sculptor.

Buckohr said the show only took him a year to arrange, and he found most of the exhibit’s artists through Internet searches and artist Web sites.

“It wasn’t that difficult to put together because there are a lot of artists out there right now working with recycled material,” Buckohr said.

One artist whose work is on display is Canton artist Joseph Close, 36. Close’s piece, “Towers,” is made up of various materials such as chair legs, foundry wood, scrap steel, glass and even latex CPR-dummy masks. “Towers” took Close two months to build and looks just as its name says, two giant towers that are more than 10 feet tall.

“I had a lot of smaller sculptures, various projects that I had started,” Close said of his piece. “I sort of just started stacking them totem-style.”

Although Close’s work may appear planned, he said he just lets his sculptures evolve and doesn’t think anything out.

Buckohr said every artist’s technique is different and that while some artists have an exact idea of what their sculpture will look like in the end, all artists are not that way.

“Joseph looks at it and then changes it. He doesn’t really know what it’s going to look like,” Buckohr said.

While Close makes it seem like he creates his pieces easily, that isn’t the case. He said “Towers” required hours of bending, welding and glass blowing to create it.

“I don’t have all the right equipment to make it a pleasurable experience, it’s rough doing it,” said Close, who has been sculpting for five years. “I do enjoy it, though, because I always see things in a 3-Dimensional world so it’s neat to make something that you can walk around and look at from every direction.”

While most museums warn viewers not to touch the pieces, this exhibit urges onlookers to touch several of the sculptures with moveable parts.

Students can visit the Canton Museum of Art for $4. The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Brittany Schmigel

at [email protected].