This is Charles Donley standing next to some of the metalwork that fills his yard in Kingsland, which can be found on highway 79 between Fordyce and Pine Bluff. This piece is a birdhouse weathervane. The birdhouse assembly rotates on the pinion such that the entry hole is always pointing away from the wind. The theory is that this will help keep the rain from blowing in.
Mr. Donley is a retired navy career enlisted man who took up art just to amuse himself and his family and neighbors.When I visited him I asked if it would be all right if I took pictures. He invited me to take all the pictures I wanted, and his policy is likely to remain pretty open as long as people don't rut the lawn and tear up all creation. He must have noticed that I shot several rolls of film because he invited me into the front room of his modest house, which was also crammed with art.
He said that he doesn't make his art to sell, and people who have offered to buy pieces rarely offer him enough cash to cover his time and the price of the welding rods and electricity that stuck it all together.
His materials are mostly found in scrap heaps. Occasionally he'll buy parts. I noticed some lizards made from exhaust pipes that must have been made from new materials, but he and the Mrs. are living on a fixed income so his budget is limited.
Mr. Donley is continually adding pieces to his collection. If you want to stop by and see his work, there's no charge for looking. The address is 280 North 2nd Street, Kingsland.
Kingsland, in addition to being the home, studio and museum of Charles Donley is also the home town of the original Man in Black, Johnny Cash. No kidding. There's a monument right next to the basketball court in the city park.