Around Acadiana

Mar 19, 2012 12:20 AM by Chris Welty

Artist's Sculptures Displayed in the Oil Center

If you're driving through the Oil Center on Coolidge Boulevard you might see some interesting sculptures .

For the next six weeks the pieces will be on display and as each of the eleven whimsical sculptures were put in place, artist Joseph Jilbert celebrated.

He sold his first sculpture at the age of five and his passion for art has grown since. "All my life, I've always grabbed stuff because I was very poor and I was making my own toys. Guess what, my toys are getting bigger and bigger."

Jilbert says he never sketches before he creates. "It's like this piece of metal and this piece of metal magnetize each other right in front of me and I have to do it like that. Then, they talk to me. Whatever, they do."

Once he begins working on a project, its hard for him to stop. He typically works 16 to 20 hours, 7 days a week.

"I'm like that kid that can't wait to put the batteries into the toy to make it walk. Well, I can't wait to make it come to life."

Most people would consider a piece of scrap metal a piece of trash, but not this artist. For him, it's the start of his next great creation.

"You threw this away. You absolutely threw this away. Always be aware when you get out of your car, looking for those little pieces that you always see on the side of the road. Think of this, it can be one of these things."

Jilbert rarely changes the metal he finds. He uses his treasures in their found form and welds them together to create his masterpieces.

"The real inspiration is watching the people like you look at it and go "ohh!!!" because I brought a little smile to part of your life and you get to go on the adventure that I go on everyday."

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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