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Newest artist on this weekend’s tour creates sculptures from salvaged items

 Sculptor Matthew Leavell is the newest artist participating in this year’s Made in Mathews Open Studio Tour, to be held Friday through Sunday at various locations throughout Mathews County.

Welding together mostly salvaged and recycled metal items such as rebar, railroad ties, electrical insulators and even spoons at his home in Mobjack, Leavell sculpts vibrant, colorful, whimsical creations that resemble cattails, jellyfish, water towers and exotic floral arrangements.

His works range from the practical, such as a bright blue bird feeder that looks like a leaning tower from a Dr. Seuss book, to the mysterious, such as a large, writhing twist of green and yellow vine-like rebar punctuated with circular saw blades painted in vibrant shades of orange and red named “Inspired by Actual Events.” Leavell uses epoxy and urethane paints to make pieces that “should last a couple decades,” even outside.

An Indiana native, Leavell has lived in various places...

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