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Tinkering with scraps becomes artful display

August 3, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - After collecting metal scraps and other common items for the last six years Rex Reynolds finally decided to let his creativity flow and constructed a pair of robot-like statues from the materials.

The two pieces of art sit in Reynolds' front yard on Huron Street. The largest of the two creations is affectionately named "Norm Shag Eureka" because a portion if it is made of vacuum cleaner parts, while Eureka's pet "Orbit" was made with odds and ends off an old sewing machine. Reynolds said he had help making his vision become a reality from his son Zackary and brother-in-law Kevin Neamann. He said over the six years he would find odds and ends, which he selected as part of his overall vision. He said once he had everything collected it didn't take long to put it together.

"I had seen other metal sculptures, but I wanted to make something a little different," Reynolds said. "As I was collecting things I would think 'This could be this or could be used for that.' Once I got what I thought was every piece I needed, we went ahead and put it together in 10 days."

Article Photos

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Rex Reynolds makes a tweak to “Eureka” on Friday. Reynolds saved loose metal scraps and other odds and ends for six years to make the metal statue. After Eureka was complete, neighbors said he looked lonely, so Reynolds went back to work and built Orbitz to be his faithful companion.

Reynolds said Eureka was completed first, and that was all he intended to do, until people who stopped by to admire the statue came up with an idea Reynolds agreed with.

"The neighbors would stop my to compliment me on it, but they would say he looks lonely standing out there drinking his can of degreaser, so I had to go and make him a companion. For Orbit I did the opposite. I would find pieces, disassemble them and reassemble them into the final piece."

Even though they have names, people who have looked at the art seem to have different opinions on what the statue actually is or reminds them of. Reynolds said that is what his intent was. He wanted people to have to use their imaginations in determining what it is.

"There is so much detail and so many little things included in it that you can look at it and see something new or different," Reynolds said. "I guess it is whatever people believe what it is and that's great."

Reynolds said the art is going to be on display at the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan. After the exhibit ends Reynolds said he more than likely will bring the two home. He said he has no intentions of doing a follow-up piece and prefers to do something different in terms of art next time. He said he is in the process of constructing a treehouse for his son. Reynolds said he appreciates the response and encouragement he has gotten from the community and would like to invite people to stop by, take a close look at the display, and even have a picture taken with the duo.

"I will store them for the winter, but then they will come back out and take their places back in the front yard when the snow is gone," Reynolds said. "There have many people driving by, stopping and getting pictures and I have no problem with that. If people want to get out of their cars and come in the yard and take a close look they can. Like I said there are a lot of little details to it, and you just won't be able to see them from the street, so yes, people can feel free to stop and check them out."

People who want to see Eureka and Orbit can do so by stopping at Reynolds' home at 404 W. Huron Street until the middle of August. They will be at the museum until Nov. 1. After that the two robots will hibernate in storage until spring.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689.

 
 

 

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