The West Kortright Centre in East Meredith will kicks off its 2013 season with an exhibit of sculptures by John Jackson. “Whimsical Metal Sculptures” will open Friday, May 24, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by Brewery Ommegang and Hand in Hand Farm. The exhibit will run from May 24 to July 8.
Jackson refers to himself as a “whimsical metal sculptor, humor therapist, recycler, prophet (mostly non-profit), political satirist, cello torturer, and haiku dabbler,” according to a media release. His sculpture palette consists mainly of bike and motorcycle parts, distressed musical instruments, old tools, and gleanings from flea markets. Favorite themes are musicians, masks, critters, and banksters behind bars. He has been a sculptor for more than 35 years and often composes haiku that the work has inspired. The tag line on his website (whimsicalmetalsculpture.com) is “So much junk, so little time….”
In the mid-seventies Jackson met a fellow in Colorado Springs who was having way too much fun welding tin cans and coat hanger wire onto driftwood bases. Upon his return he bought a set of oxy-acetylene jewelry torches and began welding small wire figures and tin can candleholders. At some point he discovered that upside down bike seats made wonderful faces or masks which led him to pay more attention to bike parts, the release stated. Jackson discovered that there is more to bikes than simply transportation and bike parts have served him very well in his sculpture career. He then began noticing anthropomorphic shapes in a lot of tools. Most of what he tends to weld is musician characters, but he also creates critters: goats, cows, birds, gorillas, giraffes, elephants, alligators and dogs.