Hammond Sculptor Welcomes Donations Of Scrap Metals

HAMMOND, LA (AP) — Joseph "JoJo" Jilbert plans to spend the next several months converting pieces of scrap metal to treasured masterpieces.

         As he works on sculptures on Peach Street in Hammond, Jilbert encourages everyone in the community to not only donate scrap metal but come observe his creativity in action. His shop is across the street from the north side of the Daily Star plant.

         A former resident of New Orleans, he brought his sculpting business with him when he moved to Baton Rouge. He does several art shows a year and has been recognized by the New York Times. Saturday night he showed some of his work in Ponchatoula.

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         Jilbert is proud of his passion.

         "I'm very fast and good at what I'm doing. I just need support," he said.

         His current "Art and Seek Project" will raise funding for programs that take action against budget cuts to children's art and music programs in Louisiana,

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         Relying on his imagination to do most of the work, Jilbert said he has no plans of what he will be creating.

         "I don't plan it. I don't draw it. The metal tells me what it wants to be. That's why they call me the art whisper," Jilbert said.

         Among a long list of his unique creations, "Gennasockie steam punk" is a three-seater bike made from scratch over the course of six days. Although the bike does not run, Jilbert says there is a possibility he and the bike will appear in Mad Max 2 and 3.

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         He also plans to construct a second bike, which he envisions having five seats and a running engine.

         Jilbert owns a restaurant on Government Street in Baton Rouge named House of Jumba. Serving cajun creole international cuisine, the restaurant offers a unique artistic atmosphere that is also open for tours and field trips.

         – by AP/ Reporter Tori Pajares with The Daily Star

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