Déjà Vu Art Show Returns to Downtown Columbus

PRESS RELEASE: Broken toys, yesterday’s newspaper, and china shards may seem like trash to most, but in the hands of professionals, they can be transformed into beautiful art and fine crafts. On Saturday, November 6, those in the Columbus area will see such work when they attend the sixth annual Déjà Vu All Over Again Art Show.

Held at Yes Cinema and Conference Center located at 4th and Jackson Streets in downtown Columbus, Indiana, the show will run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Twenty-three artists from throughout the state were invited to display their work, which includes collage, mosaics, assemblage, jewelry, metal sculpture, furniture, leather goods, woodworking, and fiber arts.

Some of the more unusual entries are those of Bloomington artists Nick McGill and Susie Seligman. Reusing old machine parts, McGill transforms them into unusual candlesticks, and Seligman turns auction and flea market finds into whimsical chairs and sofas.

Other Bloomington artists include Martina Celerin showing her spectacular weavings and Cappi Phillips who will display fanciful mosaics. Popular artist and metal sculptor Glenn Carter is returning for his sixth show.

Many who have toured the “Back Roads of Brown County” will recognize Chris Gustin’s rag rugs, and first time exhibitor Talia Halliday, of Bloomington, will display handmade journals created from old hardback books.

Also new this year are Nashville mixed media artist Tim Carter-East, jewelry artist Ann Johnson of Muncie, and Anita Hopper of Indianapolis. Hopper repurposes old leather goods to make stylish clutch purses and handbags. Bloomington artists Mary Hambly will display intricately designed Paper Art Quilts, and Ruth Rives will show felted purses.

Other new participants include Columbus residents Larry Brackney, who creates assemblage, jeweler Martha Butler, woodturner Bill Griffith, and fiber artist Sophie Callaghan Miller. Showing jewelry made of vintage buttons is Maggie Dixon of Elizabethtown.

Some returning artists are Edinburgh jewelry artist Lori Henderson, Columbus’ Marilyn Brackney, who will show found art dolls, and the husband/wife team of Mark and Lynne Medsker of Brownsburg. Mark is a metal sculptor, and Lynne uses mixed media to create collages. Also back to display their work are Columbus woodturner Chad Shock and jewelry artist Jill Stillwell.

Sponsored by the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District, Columbus Area Arts Council, Columbus Indiana Visitors Center, Pentzer Printing, and YES Cinema, this free event is held in celebration of America Recycles Day.

All the art and fine crafts were created using scrap or repurposing items most people throw away. The show’s sponsors hope to demonstrate that such work is just as interesting and equal in quality to that made of new materials. In fact, recycled art is becoming collectible, and it’s often exhibited in fine galleries and shows across the nation.

In addition to the art show, the Bartholomew Consolidated School Foundation is sponsoring a Shred-a-Thon from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Speedy Shred, a local document disposal company, will provide shredding boxes for papers and security certificates for those wishing to use the service. A donation of $5 per container is requested, and participants may bring up to two, legal-sized boxes of documents.

Also, Bartholmew County residents attending the event may trade as many as five, 60 or 100-watt light bulbs for the equivalent in CFL bulbs. Local school students who received a grant for their service-learning project from State Farm will manage the exchange. To learn more about Déjà Vu, visit http://kid-at-art.com/htdoc/dejavu10.html.

“The Art of Re-use in Celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary”

wall sculpture #26, recycled metal (c) 2010 Medsker Metal Art


Exhibit at Phi Gallery Celebrates Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary

Columbus, IN.  Broken toys, yesterday’s newspaper and china shards may seem like trash to most, but in the hands of professionals, they can be transformed into beautiful art and fine crafts.  Twelve professional artists have taken these re-used objects and created artwork that will be featured at Hotel Indigo’s Phi Gallery.

Presented by the Columbus Museum of Art and Design, this exhibit entitled “The Art of Re-use in Celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary” will be on display from April 1 through May 28th.  The public is invited to a special meet the artist reception, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 8 from 5:30 to 7pm.

The show’s purpose is to demonstrate that such work is just as interesting and equal in quality to that made of new materials. “Recycled art is becoming collectible, and it’s often exhibited in fine galleries and shows across the nation,” said Columbus artist Marilyn Brackney, organizer of this exhibit.  Twelve central Indiana artists were invited to display their work, which includes mosaics, metal sculpture, fiber arts, collage and mixed media.

Besides Brackney, who will exhibit a relief sculpture, the show will include Bloomington artists Glenn Carter, metal sculpture, Cappi Phillips, mosaic/assemblage and Kelly Tate, mixed media.  Among the participating artists from Columbus are Linda Peterson, mixed media, Jan Wantz, fiber arts, and Chad Shock, woodturning.

One of the more unusual entries is that of another Bloomington artist Nick McGill who transforms old machine parts into unusual candlesticks. Also from Bloomington, Martina Celerin, whose work was featured on HGTV, will show one of her spectacular weavings.

A Brownsburg husband and wife team of Mark and Lynne Medsker will display metal sculpture and collage, and many who have toured the “Back Roads of Brown County” will recognize Chris Gustin’s weaving.

Hotel Indigo is located at 400 Brown Street in downtown Columbus, Indiana. For additional information about this exhibit or future exhibits at Phi Gallery, call 812.376.2534.

Time for a little metal!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any images of the metal art that my husband, Mark, and I create together.  This time I’m going to feature a few projects that he’s done on his own.  These were items he created as gifts for some of his friends.  I love the fact that he’s gone from standing there just waiting for me to arrange pieces and point where he needs to weld to coming up with his own ideas and designs! He had talked about clocks for quite some time so it was fun to see what the final pieces looked like.

metal clock, approximately 14x14" (c) 2009, Mark Medsker
metal clock, approximately 11x11" (c) 2009, Mark Medsker

I think they turned out pretty awesome! If I were a little more familiar with used parts from heavy equipment I might even be able to tell you exactly what these are made from. 🙂 The lamp is a slightly shorter version of two matching lamps he made a few years ago.

cam shaft lamp, approximately 24" tall (c) 2009, Mark Medsker

I do know what part of it is – a cam shaft!  I kept one of the originals, it sits by my computer desk in my studio. How much fun is it to see these items recycled into art instead of being tossed out? Posting these photos makes me want to collaborate on some new metal art with him soon!

Brainstorming already,


Metal wall sculptures

"wall sculpture #23" metal/recycled parts, 25"x12"x5" $295 (c) 2009
“wall sculpture #23″ metal/recycled parts 25″x12″x5”, $295 (c) 2009

The last time I posted images of the metal art that my husband, Mark, and I were creating it consisted mostly of cute, crazy critters made from used machinery parts.  We also create “serious” (playfully serious, anyhow!) art – some functional, like tables, lamps, and candleholders, and some more decorative like these new wall sculptures.  We had a request for three pieces of metal wall art and thought it was the perfect excuse to dream up something new.  Since we can go long periods of time between making items the process always seems to start off slow but it wasn’t long until we were arranging pieces on a large table then getting them all cut, cleaned and prepared for welding.  Once we get in a groove it seems to flow well!  We started with the piece shown at the top of this post, it’s hard to see in the photos but the four pieces in the center of the outer circles are angled out & away from the base. Wall sculpture #24 (below) was our next creation – I love the shadows it creates on the wall when lights hit it from different angles!

“wall sculpture #24″ metal/recycled parts, 38″x22″x2” $375 (c) 2009

Our final piece (#25, below) I think ended up being a favorite for both of us.  We had made similar wall sculptures several years ago but they were painted in a variety of colors.  We’ve both become fond of a more “natural” metal look to our creations lately so it was fun re-visiting this idea/style with a different finish.

"wall sculpture #25" metal/recycled parts, 26"x22"x8" $395 (c) 2009
“wall sculpture #25″ metal/recycled parts 26″x22″x8”, $395 (c) 2009


Until next time!


New Metal Art

It’s been quite a while since my husband, Mark, and I have spent any time creating things with metal.  For the first time in three years he has decided to participate in an art fair…this Saturday at the Zionsville Autumn Artscape.  So last weekend we spent some time brainstorming and having fun out in his shop so he would have some new items for his booth.  Although we’ve created some really awesome metal wall sculptures and “serious art” he has found that he can sell these crazy critters, made from used part, like hotcakes at art fairs.  We did a few sketches of things we wanted to do and then started pulling parts off of the shelf and letting our imaginations go.

raw beginnings
raw beginnings

Once we had the parts laid out and a basic idea of how it would be assembled we’d throw them into bins and go on to the next, gathering lots of material and ideas at once before he began the welding process.

parts to make a cat
parts to make a “cat”
pieces for a dog laid out on the table
pieces for a “dog” laid out on the table
materials to create rattlesnakes
materials to create “rattlesnakes”

Then on to the welding process and, before we knew it, the shop was beginning to fill with these funky creatures!  I really get a kick out of seeing these come together, especially when it’s an animal we’ve never made before!  I’m all about the creative part, once we’ve done one I want to try something new.  Here are some of the new items we tried this time:


We also did new variations of some old favorites:


These photos were taken prior to the critters being cleaned/polished but it gives you a good idea of what we’ve been doing.  Of course I didn’t show you everything we created because I wanted to give you some incentive to come to the art fair and check them out for yourself! 🙂  See you then!


Do over!

Every once in a while some creations just need to be revisited.  Maybe at the time they seemed complete, or perhaps just “good enough” because nothing else was coming into your imagination.  Then later, for whatever reason, a thought pops into your mind and you immediately know what it was that needed to be done.  I love those moments! (The ones when you realize, not the ones when you don’t have a clue!)  If you’ve looked at my website you know that I make collaborative art pieces with my husband, Mark, using metal.  Most of the pieces are created from discarded parts and other recycled materials.  Last year we created three new wall sculptures, including the one that just got a “do over”.  One piece was specifically for a commission and the other two (including the do over) were the Plan “B”s – in case the client wasn’t as pleased with the original piece as we hoped or (even better) wanted additional pieces.  They stuck with the original piece that they had commissioned (show here after it was installed):

wall sculpture #19 (c) 2008 mark & lynne medsker
wall sculpture #19 (c) 2008 mark & lynne medsker

One of the parameters for the commissioned piece was that they wanted the metal to be sealed, unfinished, instead of painted.  So we finished all the pieces like that. The piece that I still wasn’t completely happy with traveled around a bit and then ended up back home, hanging in the garage next to the entryway into the house.  So I saw it everyday until it just became part of the background and I didn’t pay that much attention to it anymore.  Then a week or so ago Mark had a request for a piece to be hung in an upcoming show.  That piece fit the bill but I couldn’t let it go out again until I was happy with it.  One thing that bothered me about it was that it was very “flat”.  It had some dimension to it as the pieces were welded on top of each other but basically it laid flat against the wall.  Had we been at square one then welding it in a more curved fashion would have been the answer but now I would have to figure out a different approach.  The pieces on the outside of the sculpture were fairly thin & flexible so I was able to bend them to where they curled up and away from the wall, adding some of the dimension I felt it was missing.  Okay…it was getting better but is still just wasn’t there.  Then I remembered a diferent metal wall sculpture that recently sold and how taken the customer was with the way it was painted.  Ah ha!  That might just be what I was looking for.  I am a big fan of the ‘hammered metal’ type of spray paints…it is shiny but also very textured and it keeps with the metal appearance of the pieces.  So out came four cans of that in various colors and away I went.  I love to layer & blend with spray paints just like I do with acrylics, ink, paper or even pixels on the computer.  First a coat of one color, then a highlight of another, a spritz of a different one, some dark followed by some light and a drizzle of paint drops here & there to add interest.  After working it for a while I let it sit, went back to it and did a bit more work and, FINALLY, I feel like it is now finished!  Here is a photo of the complete piece plus a close up detail so you can see the painted finish:

wall sculpture #20 (c) 2009 mark & lynne medsker
“wall sculpture #20” (c) 2009 mark & lynne medsker
detail, wall sculpture #20
detail, wall sculpture #20

It will be on display along with it’s “sister” piece that is already hanging at the Continental Office Environments showroom, 9202 East 33rd Street, Indianapolis.  On Friday,  March 13th from 5 – 7 pm Broad Ripple Art & Design will have it’s “Second Friday Opening” there!

New Metal Pieces (in progress)

I have had some ideas in my journal that I have been wanting to create and, finally, Sunday afternoon gave me a few hours that I could go out & play.  My husband Mark & I like to work with metal and design everything from odd looking little critters to functional art pieces (tables, lamps, candleholders, etc.) to metal wall sculptures.  Pretty much whatever strikes our fancy.  When we first started it was just a fun adventure figuring out how to create things from the old pieces & parts he’d collected.  We quickly had a large inventory of cats, dogs, bugs, birds, turtles – just about any animal we could think of.  So we tested the waters at a few art fairs and the crazy things were selling like hotcakes.  Now, I have to explain, we differ in our approach to things, I was fine creating them and learning how to best craft them.  But my heart was in the more artistic creations.  That part was “ok” to him but he wanted to make things that sold.  Suddenly it went from playing and having fun to an assembly line.  Ten more frogs, eight cats, we need 3 birds and on it went.  BLAH!  Eventually he ran short of time and other aspects of our lives took over and it all kind of went by the wayside.  Occasionally we would do some commissioned work, and I would convince him to do a few new wall sculptures from time to time as well. It think this may be the year we get back into making more creations…although whether it’s critters or fine art remains to be seen!  

Through the process we purchased a plasma cutter to cut out metal pieces.  I LOVE THE PLASMA CUTTER!  Another tool for getting creative!  During a recent brainstorming session I drew a few sketches of some metal pieces I wanted to make using the plasma cutter.  I got these three cut out and “etched” (that’s the closest term I can think of).


tall, skinny tree on metal, work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
tall, skinny tree on metal, work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker


sun over mountains, work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
sun over mountains, work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
tree (on metal) work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
tree (on metal) work in progress (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

 I envisioned them hanging on a freestanding base but now have begun to wonder if they wouldn’t look better either hanging on the wall or framed.  Hard to say how they’ll end up but at least they are started!  I want to play with some of the test pieces I did and some inks to see about adding color to them.  Although I could spray paint them I don’t think that’s the effect I want for these.  They look pretty cool just raw metal so that is an option too.  I’ll post more photos as they progress!  Although I’m excited about these I am also itching to get started on my hubcap for the landfill art project.  There is always more to do than there is time to do it!  Sigh!  But, hey, at least I don’t get bored!

Talk to you soon,