Metal sculptor set to heat things up for Millville Artisans Fair
A seahorse sporting a tuxedo and a top hat. A lizard scaling a living room wall. Metal flowers whose petals reflect the radiant sunlight. Milford artist, metal sculptor and fabricator Gary Pearson finds his inspiration from almost anywhere. But it’s his sense of humor that brings these whimsical, hand-forged pieces to life. And, this Memorial Day weekend, for the second year in a row, Pearson will feature his metal creations at the Millville Artisans Fair, hosted by the South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter.
“I take a lot of my inspirations from life experiences,” said Pearson, who is originally from Anne Arundel County, Md. “Some of my pieces are serious, but I like to bring a comedic edge to things. It’s fun to laugh. Life is too serious. Sometimes, you just need that comedy undertone.”
From his deep-sea fishing adventures to perfecting his green thumb around the house with his wife, much of Pearson’s influences come directly from his other hobbies and enjoyments.
“Metal sculpting gives me a way to express myself, the same way music can for some people,” Pearson explained. “I keep an element of humor in my work, but I’m not trying to make a political point. I just enjoy making stuff that people like to look at. It’s neat, because I never make the same thing twice, so each piece has something that makes it completely unique.”
Pearson has been working with metals for the past two decades, and the artwork seemed to have just taken off on its own. Originally an apprentice in an auto-body shop, he later found himself in a sheet-metal shop, as well.
“When you’re working and making the same things, day after day,” he said, “it can start to get a little boring. Getting into art, I was able to do my own thing, and it has been really fun.”
His nautical works include a myriad of creatures from under the sea, such as jellyfish, starfish and tuna.
“I always enjoyed fishing,” he said, “but I didn’t always come home with that big catch that I wanted. Now, I figure, if I can’t catch it, I at least have the equipment to make it.”
Flowers and other sculptures, such as metal guitars, musical staves and original mobiles and wall art, are also popular picks among his customers. Pearson even designed the winged hog hanging at Bethany Blues in downtown Bethany Beach, and a second one for the Lewes restaurant is in the works.
Pearson has been no stranger to art shows over the years, but it’s the smaller shows, like Millville’s Artisans Fair, rather than the larger ones, that he said he enjoys the most.
“It’s nice,” he said, “because I get the chance to talk to people. The shows are a way for me to get my work out there, but it’s nice to connect with those who stop by to ask me about what I do. People get to see where I’m coming from, and I get the opportunity to show them what I do.”
Check out more of Gary Pearson’s metalworks by visiting his Web site at www.garypearsonart.com.
The Fifth Annual Millville Artisans Fair will take place at the Millville Fire Hall, on Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) on Saturday, May 26, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., featuring 40 artists and crafters throughout the Delmarva region and spanning four states.
The show is free and open to the public, and proceeds and fundraising efforts will contribute to the South Coastal Delaware AARP chapter’s scholarship program. Two $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to two students at Indian River High School, while one adult student (25 or older) enrolled at Delaware Tech, will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, as well.
For more information about the artisans fair, including how to volunteer, contact Ione Phillips at (302) 539-2172.