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Brooklyn artist wins first place in Milwaukie Avenue showcase; more art will follow it once quarantine ends

RITA A. LEONARD - Brooklyn neighborhood-based welded-art creator Josh Daily - shown here in his own back yard with four of his sculptures: A fish, an eagle, a cat, and a dog.In times of trouble, art can bring pleasure and even joy. In March, as concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus mounted, Brooklyn's Rose City Coffee Shop, at 3370 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, organized an "art showcase". The exhibit was originally planned to feature the work of five local artists: Josh Daily, Dawn Furstenberg, Lindsey Konopka, Helen Dupre Thompson, and Matthew Walter. Josh Daily started the showcase – and his metal sculpture is still displayed there; however, due to social distancing requirements, the rest of the showcase has been postponed.

As a creative metal sculptor, Daily told THE BEE he finds inspiration in scrap and discarded metal items, welding pieces into amusing sculptures and furniture. He says he often creates his art after receiving requests for certain things, and has sold about a hundred pieces the past year. He usually sells at art festivals, and this year will be his first time at the planned Vancouver Recycled Arts Festival.

Daily has been welding for over twenty years. "I was a welder by profession, and worked the night shift," he recalled. "I had free time on the weekends, and wanted something creative to do. I started scavenging for unique items, and also taking apart sewing machines, computers, and typewriters, to find components. I especially liked working with old silverware. I now create metal art full-time, turning scraps into figures – from desk-top to life-size art and furniture. My personal favorites are the animals."

At the Brooklyn neighborhood coffee shop, Daily displayed several life-size musicians as well as smaller items such as a dog, turtle, elephant, and octopus. Using castoff cutlery, he welded together a fish sculpture, in which body scales are fused of spoon bowls. Some of his art pieces are displayed on end tables, created from a glass-topped typewriter and a sewing machine, while smaller pieces are used as doorstops.

Daily's life-size "musicians" play a variety of stringed instruments, including banjo, bass, and guitar. One figure has hair made from colored wires, with fingers made of wine corks. These pieces are posed among the coffee tables, and they entertained coffee and pastry customers until coronavirus mandates made the shop "Take-Out Only". Passers-by can still enjoy the metal artistry through the shop's plate glass windows, however. For more information on Josh Daily and his welded art, call him at 503/680-9293, or go online – www.joshdailyart.com

When social distancing mandates are relaxed, look for the work of the remaining artists in the showcase to start appearing at Rose City Coffee.


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