Spirit of the Ozarks, captured in a canoe

By Marie Lasater


When Bob Parker recovered from a near fatal heart attack, he discovered a new talent that made him view metal in a completely different way. Starting with scrap metal pieces found around the farm, he began to create wall hangings depicting the many forms of wildlife he had encountered as an avid outdoorsman. Using no stencils, he used a plasma cutter to sculpt birds, fish, turtles, horses, game animals; just about anything in his mind’s eye.

His art began to garner attention, and soon, reporters came to spend the afternoon with him, amazed with this unique form of art. Sometimes a quantum leap happens, and that occurred when Parker decided to use his trusty, but no longer safe, beat up canoe as a canvas.
Photo by Marie Lasater -- No metal left behind: Karen Parker admires a wall sconce.

After the initial kidding from his friends about the practicality of a carved out canoe, Bob started getting noticed at art shows, where his “canoe art,” was often the most popular entry. No one had ever seen anything like it, and when orders began coming in, an interesting theme emerged – canoe art as a personalized memorial.

When approached about creating a custom canoe for a loved one who had passed, Bob took time to get to know the family and the situation, then began carving with a torch those precious memories into a canoe, bringing to life what mattered most in an enduring memorial.

Parker’s most recent creation, “Spirit of the Ozarks,” will be on display at the Echo Bluff art fair this weekend. Be sure to check out his webpage bobparkerfineart.com.

Photo by Marie Lasater -- The Spirit of the Ozarks will be on display at the Echo Bluff art fair this weekend.



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