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Metal sculptures on Wild Center nature trails

Barney Bellinger (Provided photo — Stanley Rumbough)

TUPPER LAKE — Seventeen sculptures by Adirondack-based artist Barney Bellinger are now on display around The Wild Center’s Tupper Lake campus, in partnership with Tupper Arts.

Bellinger’s first exhibition of large-scale steel sculptures, “Welded Steel: Shape, Form and Light,” represents his evolution as an artist and his diverse experiences in nature. Portraying natural flora and fauna, the large works of art have been strategically placed around the campus to incorporate the surrounding environment. The exhibition will be on display through next year and is included in regular admission.

The metallic sculptures made from discarded steel create a juxtaposition among the natural elements of The Wild Center’s Greenleaf Pond and Forest Music trail. Digital maps detailing the location of each sculpture are available through The Wild Center mobile app.

The exhibit is accompanied by a newly commissioned five-piece instrumental composition created by musician and educator Eric Sturr, who publishes music under the moniker Whatever Penny. The album, entitled “Iron Harvest,” draws direct inspiration from Bellinger’s work. The piece, installed in The Wild Center’s Forest Music immersive sound trail, mixes metallic sounds and instruments with harmonies of marimba and violins.

Bellinger’s work has evolved over the years. A self-taught artist entering his 51st year creating art, he has explored a variety of art forms: customizing motorcycles, hand carving and painting signs, making rustic furniture, photography and oil painting, and now sculptural metal work. He has exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, the Doyle Gallery in New York City, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Adirondack Experience, among others. Currently he is artist-in-residence at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts in Gloversville, creating accessible artistic experiences through classes that include people of all abilities and artistic skills.

More of Bellinger’s work — including rustic furniture, paintings and lighting fixtures — is on exhibit at the Tupper Arts Center, 106 Park St., Tupper Lake, from July 1 through Sept. 15.

The Wild Center is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. A phased reopening of its indoor amenities begins July 1.

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