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Artist nails new exhibit at Shelburne Museum - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Artist nails new exhibit at Shelburne Museum

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John Bisbee John Bisbee
SHELBURNE, Vt. -

Whether you're hanging a picture or building a house, you head to the hardware store to find the kind of nail you need. It's a common household item that's being used in an uncommon way at the Shelburne Museum. That's where Maine sculptor John Bisbee and his crew are installing his exhibit, "New Blooms."

"This is two years of intense work," Bisbee said.

It's a series of floral inspired pieces that will fill the floors and walls of the Pizzagalli Center.

"It's just a ubiquitous object blown into a new existence and vibrant life, hopefully," Bisbee said.

Bisbee is not exactly typical and neither is his work. He creates sculptures made completely out of steel spikes.

Reporter Gina Bullard: What is it about nails that first drew you?

John Bisbee: It was an accident. I found a rusty bucket in an abandoned house.

All of Bisbee's work starts with a 12-inch nail, and then after about 20 minutes of welding and hammering, he makes beautiful shapes.

"My love is to find the infinity in everything and my anything is the nail," Bisbee said.

Nails have been his medium of choice for the past 30 years and Bisbee says it hasn't gotten old, only more exciting.

"They just keep dancing," he said.

The exhibition opens Jan. 18 and Bisbee says you'll want to visit because New Blooms is his best work yet.

"I deeply believe if I rock my world and I get a chill and shiver, then you will," he said.

Technical triumphs with 47,000 manipulated 12-inch nails will be on display.

Gina Bullard: That's a lot of nails.

John Bisbee: That's a lot of nails. They call me sir at the lumber yard.

He buys the nails from a company in Canada.

"They're called tie spikes and they're for landscaping timbers," Bisbee explained.

So what does the company think of what he's doing with their product.

"They could not give a f---," Bisbee said.

A flippant answer, but a lot of people do care about his work, finding new brilliance in age-old hardware.

The exhibit will be on display through May. You can meet the artist, John Bisbee, Jan. 17 at the grand opening party. Click here for more information.

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