Artist Gives Recycled Objects New Life

Discarded items transformed into beautiful works of art.

JD Isaacs, owner of ROSE Squared Gallery and Framing in Decatur, has a talent for finding beauty in everyday objects.

A discarded picture frame becomes the top for a glass coffee table decorated with a woven pattern of suede beneath. A herd of whimsical sheep is born out of packing
material. A lovely flower vase is formed out of the curvy side of a cello.

“Everyday objects that would ordinarily be thrown away and forgotten can be turned into extraordinary art,” Isaacs said.

At the center of the shop’s current “Recycled Art Project” exhibit is a group of sculptures that have gone through an amazing transformation from worn, broken, string instruments into stunning works of art.

The idea for the “Reclamation” series took root when he spotted a discarded violin at Emile Baran’s Music Showroom, which was then located on Clairemont Avenue next door to ROSE Squared. Broken and stuffed into a clay pot, the once lovely instrument seemed to hold the promise of a new purpose.

Although the violin could never be played again, the beauty of the wood and craftsmanship intrigued the artist. To unlock its potential, he took it apart.

“This was a brand new thing for me. I’d never worked three dimensionally,” Isaacs said.

After stripping the finish down and laying out the pieces, he began to see the instrument melting back into nature to its original tree form. As he experimented, the strings morphed into willow branches and roots and vines were molded out of polymer clay and added to the piece.

Later, when Baran moved to a location on New Street, he donated more cellos, mandolins and violins for Isaacs' project. Each instrument is a unique piece,
adorned with lizards, leaves and flowers.

The exhibit also includes furniture, birds, sea turtles and decorative bowls made from recycled metals by artists Ivan Bailey, Jesse Quillian and Edgar Figueroa.

While the front of the shop is devoted to the gallery, the back is filled with hand-finished picture mouldings for custom framing artwork, photos and diplomas. There is also a classroom where Isaacs teaches watercolor and drawing.  

Isaacs is still collecting instruments and hopes one day to see the sculptures in a public, permanent display.

“Bringing these objects back to nature is a whole new way of seeing them. It’s like a magical journey.”

Art Shots

Damn Right I got the Blues, MudFire Clayworks and Gallery, 175 Laredo Drive. Exhibit features 20 sculptors and potters from all over the country for a color-themed exhibit in the key of blue.

Lindsay Rakers Band & The Bitterroots, Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., June 10 at 7 p.m. Poverty is Real: A Benefit for the Decatur Cooperative Ministry.  

Decatur Craft Beer Festival is accepting entries for the 2011 festival logo. Deadline is June 15 at 5 p.m. The selected logo will be used on marketing materials, the souvenir T-shirt, the tasting glass and the festival poster. Follow DBF on Facebook for ongoing information. Contact Katie Abel 678-553-6573 or Katie.abel@decaturga.com.

The Seen Gallery, 415 Church St., presents “And the Winner Is,” winners of the Decatur Arts Festival Fine Arts Exhibition. Featured will be Jaynie Crimmins, winner of the Jurors Award, and Elaine Callahan, winner of the People’s Choice Award. Also on exhibit is “From Fur to Feathers.”  

The Great American Trailer Park Musical, June 17-July 16, OnStage Atlanta, 2597 N. Decatur Road. When new tenant Pippi the stripper comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her toll booth collector husband, the storm begins to brew.






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