Buoyant is an ironic word to describe someone who works with metals, but that's Ashland artist Sabrina Skoog all over. Skoog, the metal MacGyver, is likely responsible for any random sculptures seen peeking from trees and around buildings around town of late.




"I'm not completely comfortable being called an 'artist,'" said Skoog, in humble rebellion against stigma. Yet, she continues to create art and a little whimsy with it for Ashlanders. "I really like organic forms in nature. I like to make my art mimic things which naturally occur in the environment," said Skoog. "I juxtapose improbable materials for one another. I run towards the aesthetically improbable." One example is Skoog's series of lifelike paper coats.




"I fell in love with sculpture after my first art class with Marlene Alt during the Spring term of 1997," said Skoog. "Ever since that first class I found that I like working with malleable materials, starting with paper and plastic and more recently with metal ... which hurts more."




It was recently that local gonzo artist Allan Arthur Hewitt intrigued her in metals.




"Rivets are the scotch tape of the art world," said Skoog, who recently had a piece hanging off Siskiyou by the Southern Oregon University art building of a cocoon sprouting an alien insect. "It came together from random metals," said Skoog. "While I was creating, people had different ideas of what it might be. I really had a lot of fun. One homeless guy said it was really cool rocket ship and that it was too bad that the trees were impeding its flight."




Skoog explains that there were many initially confused ideas regarding the direction of the project, and that she occasionally would just make up random answers as to its inception to quell skeptics for shock value. "But once I installed the insect, they all got it," said Skoog.




"I usually try to make something that will make people stop and scratch their heads, or laugh. My endeavor is to invoke thoughts of, 'what was she thinking?'" said Skoog.




Still, one of her favorite creations remains one maintained by a very special private client. "I made a kinetic sculpture a dog whose legs and eyes flail about when you pour marbles down his throat," said Skoog. "I made it to amuse my son when he asked for a pet." The intricate yet guerilla and long-loved hell hound presently resides on Skoog's deck, warding off philistines.




"I'm more process oriented when it comes to sculpture," said Skoog. "I'm interested in creating a visual texture and enjoying that process."




Skoog recently graduated from SOU with a Psychology degree and specializes in working with children and people with mental impairments, cross applying that imagination of hers with relating and assisting those with unique needs.




Recently, Skoog has been using some of her joyously acquired post-grad free time to start on two new projects. The first is to create a series of body casts, use ink colors to blend them with trees and hide them throughout town. The second is to create a series of TBA themed interactive instillations and present them to the public.




"I hope that whatever job my recent degree guides me in, I am always able to subsidize my love of art and power tools."