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Thu, Aug. 22

Artist shares inspiration from the open road

“Cactus Caramia”

“Cactus Caramia”

The thrill of the chase" is the power behind artist Kevin Caron's "repurposed" metal sculptures. Much like a modern-day Michelangelo, Caron has the uncanny ability to see the possibility of form hidden in that ordinary piece of scrap metal or stone. His innovative and awe-inspiring work is featured at Van Gogh's Ear Gallery in Prescott. On Friday Oct. 23, Caron will be celebrated as the gallery's Artist of the Month, with a free reception from 5 to 8 pm. He will be on hand to answer questions and provide insight into his creative process.

Caron did not grow up wanting to be an artist; instead, as he states, "the art has chosen him." In his early career he spent six years in the U.S. Navy acquiring training in machine shops and aircraft maintenance. This would be the foundation of his later inspiration.

In 1983, after successfully completing his military service, Caron ran a foreign car repair shop. His natural creativity and problem-solving ability took a giant leap forward. Between jobs he built his own vehicle, using parts from various sources. His reputation for ingenuity and the ability to use a variety of tools and resources to solve any problem became his hallmark with his customers.

Necessity is the mother of all invention, and for Caron, necessity was the game changer. For example, he needed a privacy screen to shield a work area in his back yard from view. Caron's imagination revved into full gear as he combed steelyards, scrap piles, catalogs and roadsides to find the appropriate components to accomplish the task. He finally located the perfect metal, an old conveyer belt, "in his own backyard." By turning it vertically, he created a majestic and artful screen in "Floating Undulations." Caron began to visualize a fountain from the same metal; "Stretch" leaped to life as a soulful and soothing friend in the environment. Soon other fountains and variations from found material took form. His family and friends were telling others about these repurposed metal creations and a new passionate career was born.

Caron works with an innate grasp of space, proportion and physics. He is sensitive not only to the visual impact of his pieces but to their sounds and textures as well. He allows the material, people and environment to whisper their needs to him and he, in turn, produces the cure. Several of Caron's pieces are housed at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., which serves people with physical disabilities. His sculptures quiet the mind, soothe the soul and move the heart.

Caron has completed more than 45 private and public commissions across the country. He recently installed his monumental sculpture "Wherever You Go, There You Are" at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He continues to win awards such as the 2009 Best of the West Award for Arts & Culture from Westmarc, a coalition of business, education and government leaders in the western Phoenix metropolitan area. He was selected as Art Trends 2012, 2013, and 2014 Sculptor of the Year. Caron's work is shown in Prescott through Oct. 17 at Prescott College Sam Hill Warehouse in the Southwest Invitational Show and at Van Gogh's Ear, 156B S. Montezuma St. on Prescott's historic Whiskey Row. Caron also exhibits at Pearson & Company in Scottsdale and Vision Gallery in Chandler. To view a large selection of Caron's past and present work or to contact him visit his website, www.kevin.caron.com.

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