Scavenger Art - Mark Orr - Artists and furniture art in Michigan, ravens, found objects, primitive sculpture
Architectural sculpture and furniture art using vintage and found objects from Mark Orr
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Mark Orr, Ann Arbor, Michigan, architectural sculpture, furniture art, ravens and crows, shutter tables, wooden art boxes

Artist Statement

Although I have been an artist all my life, the body of work that has become “Scavenger Art” is really quite a recent creation. Salvaged architectural elements, especially vintage shutters and stair balusters, as well as other found objects are used to create a wide range of sculpture and art furniture. Expanding on the architectural theme, I often add roof tops and ornamental gables to my pieces to instill a feeling of “home”.

Sculptural carved wooden ravens represent the “scavenger” or “gatherer” in my work, with each piece containing unique and interesting found objects from the past. In our spiritual history the raven has also long been viewed as a messenger between realities and the courier of change. The vintage keys are used to represent the opening of doors and the welcoming of positive change. By combining these elements and themes, each “new” creation is imbued with a rich and personal history.

“I want my pieces to reflect that they have a timeless and very interesting story of their own to tell.”

The artistic process begins in unique places. Much of the fun is in visiting antique shops, salvage yards and flea markets in search of inspirational artifacts. These are things that have survived the ravages and purges of time because they “spoke” of something special to someone. That personal meaning and the spirit which is preserved lends itself to and hopefully finds new meaning in my art. To blend the old with the new materials I use many techniques including paint layering, distressing, crackle finishes and patinas.

Another key aspect of my work is a sense of humor. By using found objects in unexpected ways my art produces lots of smiles and amused chuckles. Bowling pins, croquet balls and stair balusters become legs, antique shutters become the sides of cabinets and the tops to tables.

“Sometimes when I finish a piece and take that first look....if it makes me laugh out loud, then I know I’ve got something!”

Although this work is fairly new, I have been a maker of art in various forms for all of my life. I am a wood carver, sculptor, painter, bent wood furniture maker and a photographer. I hope that you find enjoyment in my latest creations.


Mark Orr