Mountain Man Iron Art
Mountain Man Iron Art Exhibit
Officials in Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department will host an exhibit of iron artwork created by Arnold Simpson, founder of Mountain Man Iron in Mammoth Spring, Ark., Jan. 4-28 in the gallery on the mezzanine at the West Plains Civic Center.
The exhibit is free and open to everyone during regular civic center hours – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, organizers said. A special “Meet the Artist” reception is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, in the civic center’s Magnolia Room. The reception also is free.
For the past 20 years, Simpson has been perfecting his skills as a welder and artist to create some of the most unique iron artwork in the area, exhibit organizers said. The term “mountain man” best describes the aged, weathered and rough-look pieces he creates, they add.
“The imagination of this artist appears endless,” said U/CP Theater and Events Coordinator Deborah DeWitt. “He continues to create something new and exciting for the public to see.”
Pieces that will be displayed in the exhibit range from humorous characters and creatures to sophisticated ornamental ironwork. The exhibit also will have an interactive element to it; visitors are invited to sit on any bench or chair displayed, DeWitt said. “Simpson’s goal is to set up an exhibit that will lead you through his works and allow you to interact with it,” she explained.
Foliage and flowers will be added to several pieces of the three-dimensional ironwork, including to Simpson’s unusual rat rod planters, one of his specialty pieces and a design favorite, DeWitt added.
“This is truly a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring a local artist,” she said. “What Simpson creates is so varied, from the beautiful, smooth lines of his plant hangers to the quirky characters that make you laugh.”