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Turning junk into art

A wide range of plastic wheels, metal scraps, and an assortment of screws, nails and hot glue guns dotted the LaGrange Memorial Library on Thursday afternoon. The library hosted its first-ever junk art class at 4 p.m. on this day, and was led by local tattoo artist Maribeth Crocker. The class, Crocker said, combined elements of folk art, imagination and everyday household items in an effort for teenagers to tap in to their innate creativity.

“I got hooked on the idea of folk art and junk art a while back,” Crocker said. “Anyone can do it. If you just dump out the junk drawer in your home you’re good to go. If you can create and use your imagination then that’s great. Kids don’t get a lot of that now, everything is instant. We want kids to use their brains and create.”

The class was held for teenagers, and had approximately 10 show up to participate. It was not the first-class Crocker has led related to junk art, as she has taught a similar class at the LaGrange Art Museum.

“We did a summer program around this idea of junk art,” Crocker said. “It was sponsored by the Junior Service League, and was called Mess Fest. This is a lot of fun, it’s just as much fun for me as for anyone who participates.”

Sadie Bryan, 16, was in attendance for the event. Bryan was in the process of creating a car from some plastic wheels and pieces of metal, and spoke to what she enjoys about junk art creation.

“I just love the creativity of it,” Bryan said. “That and getting to express ourselves. It’s really fun.”