Jurassic Art to appear at Clearwater Artwalk

Phillip Brinkley createds sculptures from salvaged metal like this beetle made from a full size Volkswagon Beetle. His art will available for purchase at the Clearwater Artwalk on Friday, April 1.

By Michelle Leidy-Franklin

CLEARWATER – Phillip Brinkley may not have planned to become an artist, but now he is surrounded by his own creations.
Brinkley has always worked around machine parts. He was a parts buyer and inventory manager for the Air Force and when he returned home to Kansas, he immediately took a similar job with Cessna.
“Airplane parts became my life,” said Brinkley.
His familiarity with aircraft parts combined with his handyman skills created the perfect environment to take on a new hobby. His brother-in-law got him started welding and his fascination with metal art took off.
“I started creating art in 1999,” said Brinkley. “At first it was hard to think things through. It was hard to picture what I wanted out of the pieces I had. But after a while, doing this trains your brain to see the finished piece. I can look at a pile of parts now and see exactly what I want to create.”
Brinkley considers his art “found art.” He finds a lot of the parts he uses at farm auctions and sales. He also uses parts from local salvage yards.
His favorite pieces tend to be the large dinosaurs he makes, thus the name Jurassic Art for his creative side job.
“I was making a T-Rex for my front yard and a guy saw it and said he had to have it so I sold it to him,” said Brinkley. “I started on a second one since I didn’t get to keep that one and it happened again. That one ended up in front of the Museum of Natural Treasures in Wichita.”
Brinkley is currently gathering the pieces to produce a third 13-foot-tall T-Rex. He plans to decline any attempts by observers to purchase it.
The creatures that Brinkley makes are not all as large as the spider made from a full-size volkwagon beetle. Some of his pieces are small enough to sit on a table top.
Most of the items he makes are purchased by people looking to spruce up their yard. He sells a lot of small garden items.
“I make items that range in price from $25 to thousands of dollars,” said Brinkley. “I have a little something for everyone.”
Brinkley lives on a ranch in Rose Hill with an archway that dons the name Jurassic Art in metal letters in an arch over the driveway. He displays his work on his own property and it has become a tourist attraction recognized by KansasTravel.org and earning a mention by Good Day Kansas on KSN. Brinkley also is member of the art foundation in Lucas, Kan. through the Grassroots Art Center, where some of his art is displayed.
Brinkley will be making his second annual appearance at the Clearwater Art Walk on Friday, April 1 at 6 p.m. His art will be on display with purchase opportunities available.