LITTLE ROCK — Recycled and repurposed tire treads are the artist medium for creating whimsy, imaginative and nostalgic sculptures. Danny Campbell, a Dumas native and professor of art at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, has more than 25 new works exhibited at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at Little Rock.
Campbell spends countless hours sifting through tire treads, automobile parts and other unique remnants found on Arkansas bi-ways and highways. The materials gathered are not all usable and the process of using this material can be painstaking and difficult to manipulate, but Campbell lets the process unfold organically.
Campbell’s life was almost claimed by a flying tire tread from an 18-wheeler striking the hood and window of his vehicle while he lived in Atlanta. Although he was not injured, that moment had an everlasting effect on him and his art.
“I feel I have been given a second chance in life and I want to make our roadways a better and safer way to travel,” Campbell said. “I am very happy to know that I am making a difference to save lives here in Arkansas and other neighboring states.”
Campbell’s current exhibit, “Repurposed Wonders” will be on view at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center until April 26. Hours for the Mosaic are 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
His upcoming exhibition includes a group exhibit titled, “Portal of Enigma”, in Chelsea, N.Y., at Agora Gallery on May 16-June 5. A reception will be held on May 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Campbell has an art studio in Pine Bluff and can be reached at email@example.com for more information.
His process to create his works is painted with numerous coats of urban graffiti paint he was introduced to in New York while on a visit. His style of art is new, innovative and unique among many of his contemporaries. He feels his materials are a happy medium for him and he is not only a pioneer in using roadside materials, he is an advocate for a greener environment in his state and community. More conceptually, colorfully and visually, Campbell’s works approach that of Chakaia Booker and the late John Chamberlain, and Terrance Corbin, former UAPB art professor. His style of works is credited to growing up in the Arkansas Delta, traveling the Caribbean Islands and having a love for nature. Campbell has been featured in more than 100 exhibitions across the country. He has received more than 30 awards in grants, fellowships, teaching and art wards and has been included in more than 100 public, private and corporate collections. His work has been written about in more than 25 articles, reviews and publications.
Campbell has been teaching art for more than 21 years and holds a master of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from Howard University, as well as a master in education from Charleston Southern University at South Carolina. He graduated from UAPB, where he received a bachelor of science degree in art education and a commission in the Army Transportation Corps as second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves.