Recycled metal finds second life as art at PV Civic Center
Like Rick Hartner's first piece of sculpture gracing the Prescott Valley Civic Center, his second one also is made entirely from recycled metal.
Standing at the intersection of Lake Valley and Lakeshore, the 12-foot tall piece, In Your Eyes, is the second sculpture the Prescott Valley Arts and Culture Commission voted to include in the town's Art at the Center program.
This past month, the Town Council approved the purchase of Hartner's first metal sculpture, Dance of Whimsy, which sits near the parking lot entrance to the northeast of the building.
He and his wife Rosie live in Kirkland where they settled after Hartner retired from a career in curbside recycling and composting in Southern California.
"I wasn't involved in art until 2000, when I was asked to weld some metal together for a stand at work, and decided this was something I could do," Hartner said.
He also enjoys bringing his vision for combining art and recycling to the local schools. He has taught many classes at local high schools and colleges.
About In Your Eyes, Hartner said wanted to create something fun and whimsical that people would want to stop and spend some time with.
"I wanted to come up with something you couldn't just walk casually past and look at on the way by. You just have to stop and look at it," he said from his Sitting Duck Studio in Kirkland.
At "kid level," children, or people of short stature, want to stop to see what's inside the rectangular opening.
"Most adults wouldn't think to look in there," Hartner said.
At the upper reaches of the sculpture, one might think they recognize a nuclear sunflower and maybe a three-antennaed, many-winged insect.
"That's up to the viewer. They can make that decision. When I make it, it's just something that's different or unusual to look at," he said.
The piece also has copper welded into it, which Hartner said over time would start to turn a more turquoise color.
The sculptor gained a great deal of exposure in Prescott Valley this past year after he handcrafted one-of-a-kind metal trophies for the winners of the Kinetic Sculpture Race during the World Arts Festival. He has agreed to provide trophies again this year.
"Rick's work has such fun infused in it," said Arts and Culture Commissioner Cynthia Jones. "After he made the trophies for the Kinetic Sculpture Race last year, we had him make a sculpture for our family. It's a delight."
To see more of Rick Hartner's work, visit www.sittingduckstudio.com or the Kinetic Sculpture Race site at www.pvksr.org.