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SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS An artist to remember

I am back after an eventful Christmas on the road with The Walk of Life (www.thewalkoflife.org). I missed the snow, but I hear it was beautiful in spite of all the problems it caused.

As I helped my brother on this endeavor, we ran into an artist in Clinton, AR on Highway 65. His name was John Durham. Well, he actually tracked us down in Wal-Mart. He has a studio right on Highway 65 called Wild Goose USA. Mr. Durham is about 70 years old. He has been an artist for many years.

As an artist, he believes in recycling material to create his art work. He will collect wood from sites that have been struck by tornadoes or are otherwise devastated. He will then turn this wood into some kind of artwork or other creation. As you travel north on 65, you will see many of these creations in and around his studio on the right hand side. It is hard to miss. He makes many things, but one of his trademark items is the birdhouse. Not your ordinary bird houses, but birdhouses, as he puts it on his website, “That are not functional, at least as far as our feathered friends are concerned. All one has to do is to look at them, to fall in love with them – to want to own one.” His birdhouses incorporate door knobs, buttons, old wood, pieces of glass and window frames. In other words, stuff that you or I might see as junk, Mr. Durham is able to see what makes it into art.

Mr. Durham once heard that some windows from some Hot Springs bath houses were headed for a landfill. He showed up, got to work and was able to salvage many of these pieces. They are now part of many people’s homes as decorator pieces. This is the kind of person Mr. Durham is. In addition to creations from salvaged materials, he also makes original greeting cards. You can see some examples of these at ttp://www.alittlecardcompany.net. You can find him on Facebook at Wild Goose USA.

Mark Your Calendar!

Maumelle Music Teachers League features piano and guitar students

Weekend Concert – Guest Artists – Capital Brass

Flautists Kristy Eanes & Debbie Johnson

Admission is free

Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 3 p.m.

Cedar Heights Baptist Church

14510 Cedar Heights Road

North Little Rock, AR (Morgan/Marche area 1.2 miles East of 1-40 on Highway 365 (MacArthur)

Please e-mail me your arts event, so it can be included in this column. My email address is maumellearts@gmail.com.

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