Man creates art from scrap

By Angela Peacock

When Mike Lucero wants to relax he usually does so by using the skills he’s obtained by taking art courses at Mesalands Community College to create masterpieces out of scrap metal.

Lucero started off working with wood, but after taking a bronzing course from Djean Jawrunner at Mesalands he discovered his new favorite medium for art, bronzing. Some of Lucero’s works along with other Mesalands art students was recently on display for the public at the Mesalands library.

“Students spend so much time and energy building their work it’s important for them to show it,” said Jawrunner, explaining how each semester the college sets aside a time for her art students to display their works. “It’s kinda like having a child that you’ve dressed up to take to a school performance and once you see them on stage you’re setting back thinking ‘wow that’s really mine.’ It’s different seeing your work in a display setting it’s an opportunity for students to look at their work as if someone else created it.”

Some of Lucero’s most recognized works are the bronze dinosaurs displayed on the Mesalands campus. Since he has taken various art courses offered through Mesalands he said now whenever he watches movies he’s constantly looking in the background to get ideas of what he can create.

“My future plans are to create an Iron ball I can stand in,” said Lucero, explaining what types of works he enjoys designing his works in bronze. “I like to do serious things but I also like fun things. I’ve carved animals, little cowboys and a pretty famous monk out of wood, but the thing about that is you can’t make a mistake with the wood. If you cut off too much that’s it you can’t replace it, but in bronzing you’re adding material so it’s easier to fix your mistakes.”

Standing beside a two foot bronze statute of his 10th or 12th great grandfather who surprisingly resembled himself Lucero said his two biggest inspirations for learning about the arts are the late Tex Hassee and Jawrunner.

“Whenever I used to want to do something simple they’d always push me to do something better I like all different kinds of art and right now I’m working on an old wrinkled cowboy, but I also want to do some children faces. I love their innocent, mischievous smiles,” Lucero said. “Right now I guess I’ m just trying to explore all different types of art some easy and some harder.”

Jawrunner is proud of all the students she has in her classroom who just make an effort. A lot of people has the misconception that people are born artists, but Jawrunner said she encourages anyone interested in art to take one of her courses and learn just how they too can develop the necessary skills to become artists.

“We expect musicians to practice in order to be good and art is the same way. It’s a very fickle field but you just have to keep working at it and then maybe in 100 years you’ll find out just how good you were,” Jawrunner said.