Jack Barker, of Essex, Illinois, is an artist who uses found objects or recycled materials to create his artwork. I had read about him on Roadside America, and I wanted to stop by his outdoor gallery to see the creations. He works with metal to weld, solder and sculpt folk art, whimsical art and modern sculptural art. It’s off the beaten path, but it was worth the trek.
He transforms different pieces and parts into a fused whole artwork. Although I did not get to meet Jack, there was a lot to see. Here are my photographs of a sampling of the work of a metal artist.
There was artwork inspired by nature, religion and mythology. While walking around his outdoor gallery, I saw a giraffe, pig, zebra and school of fish.
I passed by a mermaid, angel and a depiction of Christ on the cross.
Some of his pieces are based on popular characters from TV and movies like Barney, the purple dinosaur; and Cowboy from Toy Story.
Interspersed throughout are sculptures that sprung directly from his designs, artist’s eye. It was an amazing collection of pieces, and lot to take in.
Sometimes the most interesting art is in the most unexpected places.