We can recall artists from all over the world appearing with big-city-caliber exhibitions of huge, bold, abstract and realistic paintings, sculptures and objets d’art on the grounds, even elaborate gold jewelry from Africa and delightful folk art from Mexico and Central America.
However, when this newspaper received postcards and advance publicity on Saturday’s opening reception with the next featured artist, we must admit we had to do a double-take.
With the artist shown riding atop a metal sculpture which looks like a mythical creature or dinosaur, it definitely grabs one’s attention.
“Metal in Motion: A collection of works by Mark Scrapdaddy Bradford” is only the second solo exhibit of his career, but even before it opens, it seems to be his favorite.
“My dream was to have a setting like this,” he said of the Beeville display.
Bradford is using both the outside yard that surrounds the museum and all the rooms inside to display his eclectic collection of metal sculptures, art cars and motorized pieces.
It should have a broad appeal to the people of this area, including car enthusiasts, welders and others who are mechanically inclined.
“Most of this stuff is new, and I wanted to bring my best stuff,” he said, looking around the room in the museum. “I knew I had a lot of space to fill too.”
Bradford has been working as an artist for 25 years, and literally uses scrap metal to make his creations. The Houston native makes multiple trips a week to a scrap yard.
The material the sculptures are made out of can be anything; it all depends on what he finds at the scrap yard. Some of his special finds include metal spoons, copper roofing, sheets of stainless steel, glass, leather, bone and even two Honda motors.
For those who are inquisitive or intrigued to see and learn more about Bradford’s art, the opening reception will be held from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. His work will remain on display there through May 3.
Again, Bee County residents are greatly indebted to the Joe Barnhart Foundation for bringing such amazingly talented artists to our small city, expanding our citizens’ horizons and allowing visitors to come here and discover what an incredible attraction we have in our museum.
– Chip Latcham