What some people call scrap auto parts, McComb, Miss., sculptor Jack Harrington calls art.
Harrington builds intricate sculptures from scrap auto parts collected at his family-owned store, Reliable Auto Service, and his creations are being shown at the Old Post Office Museum in Winnsboro.
The museum will kick off the exhibit with an opening reception June 27 at 5 p.m. The exhibit will run through Aug. 2.
Harrington’s sculptures will be paired with artist Frank Kelley’s colorful abstracts. Kelley, of Monroe, is a professional artist and is based out of FKJ Art Gallery which is a nonprofit educational arts program located at 410 N 6th in West Monroe.
After retiring as a nuclear engineer and a management consultant, Harrington joined his two brothers at their auto service store. He started noticing many of the used car parts were being thrown in the scrap bin.
“I thought many of the pieces looked interesting,” Harrington said. “I just hated to see them being thrown in the scrap bin, so I started welding some together.”
In the beginning, the sculptures were used as “yard art,” Harrington said, but Carroll Case, another McComb artist, saw differently.
“He told me that (the sculptures) were art,” Harrington said.
Case, who spoke with The Sun via telephone, was the sponsor of Harrington’s first art show at his McComb studio.
“Jack’s work is thought out and planned,” Case said. “He is a three-dimensional genius. He takes discarded parts and turns them into sophisticated, visual statements. Jack’s work could stand on its own in New York and New Orleans. His work is complicated but handsome.”
Harrington started displaying his sculptures in Reliable Auto Service’s lobby where the brothers also have an old oil can display and antique motorcycles. Harrington has sculpted numerous motorcycles from scrap parts, reflecting his past love for riding.
“My brothers and I have been riding motorcycles since we were 10,” Harrington said. “My brothers still have a bunch of them.”
Harrington’s inspiration for a sculpture usually comes from just one piece.
“I find one interesting piece and build everything around that piece,” Harrington said.
Those attending the exhibit will find pieces from a 49 Ford hood ornament to a water pump, an air conditioner, a radiator and many more.
“I’m always looking for parts, especially trim and chrome,” Harrington said. “The older parts are hard to find.”
A parody from “Grey’s Anatomy,” this sculpture features a body with a radiator rib cage, water pump heart, tubing intestines and many more organs made from old parts. The head was made from two welded Metropolitan hub caps.
“Doctors and nurses would find this sculpture very interesting,” Harrington said.
A Norman Rockwell Sculpture
One sculpture at the exhibit was inspired by a gift from his wife. Upon finding a piece off an air conditioner and a piece of a water pump that was similar to a lawn mower, Harrington began recreating a Norman Rockwell sculpture his wife gave to him. The sculpture featured a man resting from mowing while his wife gives him a glass of lemonade.
In Harrington’s version, the couple are standing on an old Cadillac radiator.
“The air conditioner part and water pump made me think of the statute that sits on my office desk,” Harrington said.
Standing nearly six feet tall, hot head is not named because of his attitude but because his head is two large light covers. The humanoid sculpture’s expression can be changed.
“He’s not mad,” Harrington said, while changing his creation’s expression. “He just has a red head.”
The three sculptures and many more are featured at the Old Post Museum located at 513 Prairie St. in downtown Winnsboro.
“It is so good for Winnsboro to have an artist like Jack in the beginning of his career,” Case said. “There is no limit for him or his art.”