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Bruce MacDonald's Magical Metal Works Find a Home

State of the Arts

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You don't have to be a magpie to appreciate Bruce R MacDonald's bright, shiny things. In fact, the bling-enamored bird would have a hard time picking up one of his heavy metal creations. For 20 years, MacDonald - a.k.a. BRM Design - has been making a name for himself with his finely crafted, quirky homeware items, from UFO-shaped salt shakers to sinuous CD racks. About eight years ago, he began experimenting with mark-making on stainless steel. Using various tools, MacDonald created elegant abstractions that change their appearance with the viewer's position and the play of light. He has since added panels of fired copper, a metal with more explosive alchemical properties. In both mediums, the sense of depth and complexity is remarkable. Like the best paintings, these works bear long and repeated viewing.

MacDonald's wall-hung pieces are available at Frog Hollow and grace the walls of local establishments such as Tilley's Café on Church Street. His commissions include a sculpture to commemorate the Human Genome Project, and a lifetime achievement award for a film festival in Manchester. All his works are made by hand with a small group of artisans at a capacious Flynn Avenue studio. This week, part of that space will debut as Gallery 180 - so named for the street address - exclusively featuring the designs of Bruce MacDonald. For now, at least. "I've got to see how it feels," he says. "I've got so many friends out there whose work is just stellar." The opening gala is Friday, October 19, 5-10 p.m., and Saturday, October 20, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Shine on.

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