Found materials find new life in Olson's artwork

Through Feb. 28, the Magnolia United Church of Christ (3555 W. McGraw St.) will feature the folk art of Mercer Island artist Jim Olson in the church’s Narthex Gallery.

A former salesperson of 42 years with no formal art training, Olson uses raw and rough, reclaimed materials to create familiar and nostalgic images for his exhibit “Hammered Assemblages.”

He said of his work, “There was a day when you could freely roam the junkyard and take home whatever caught your eye. Initially, I reconditioned items for resale in antique shops, but containerization shut down the junkyard to the casual visitor, and I was left to the slimmer pickings at millwork shops, scrap-metal dealers, construction sites and the occasional Dumpster. It’s only recently that I have begun to create art using these found materials.”

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