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Opening Reception for Mike Justice's Eccentric Toolbox at The ArtsCenter

“Eccentric Toolbox: A Collection of Rare and Imaginary Tools” examines our perceptions of and relationships with common hand tools. As utilitarian objects, the forms of tools usually communicate function and use. Justice's sculptures challenge those norms and task the viewer with re-evaluating the practicality of familiar but reworked tools.

Modifications and questionable functionality make us consider their history and methods of use. Some pieces explore the traditional adornment of craftsperson tools with exotic woods or metals. Others are created as free sculptural forms that hint at utilitarian purpose. All are intended to evoke feelings of whimsy or perplexity in anyone familiar with the workings of tools.

The collection consists of 30 works: 27 wall-mounted and 3 small sculptures.

Mike Justice is a mostly self-trained artist working in wood, metal and mixed media. He has studied at multiple sessions at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. When not torturing tools in his Chapel Hill, North Carolina studio he is a Finance Manager for a local non-profit.