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Touring Texoma: Joe Barrington

<br>It's time now to begin another set of reports on our tour of Texoma, that help piece together the fascinating heritage found right here in our own back yard.

It's time now to begin another set of reports on our tour of Texoma, that help piece together the fascinating heritage found right here in our own back yard.

This destination... Throckmorton.

It's where sculptor, Joe Barrington's turning junk into treasure.

My name is Joe Barrington, and I'm a sculptor.

This is just one of Joe Barrington's many creations, on display through May, 2012 at Kemp Center for the Arts.

Joe: "It was a station sign post.. like a Texaco or Conoco........ or...... something like that I salvaged. And, I've had it about 15- years waiting on the right project for it."

"This one is called Floating Serpent. The pole is supposed to be sky blue. It might be a little bit blue. But, ideally it looks like that serpent's just floating up there. And, there's no deep meaning. It's supposed to make you smile when you look at it. And, I think entertaining the public's ok."

Dewane Hughes/Curator, Sculpture Garden: "Any artist who can maintain a career for 10- years plus, in my eyes is a great artist, because it demonstrates that sense of passion."

Joe definitely has passion.

He's even transformed an old abandoned car dealership in Throckmorton, into a studio for he and his wife, J.J., who's a photographer.... and into their house.

Joe: "We kind of waited 'til we got the kids grown, pretty much grown, because we were afraid they wouldn't think it was a normal house. It's a big open space, and we like the idea of having a studio- type house. And, we collect eclectic things and art."

Joe says they built nearly all the furniture themselves.

"This table is a table I built out of wood blocks that were salvaged out of a 160- year old barn."

And, with the help of friends, they did all the work, besides electrical, using recycled materials.

"We were at the dump, hauling stuff off, working on the house, and this was from the high school gym floor where they'd replaced it after a storm. And, these lines are the purple lines from the basketball court."

Reporter: "To me, it looks like this tin goes back to the 1940's itself probably."

Joe: "Probably so. Probably so."

"We had this building, it had an old drop ceiling that looked terrible. And, the old ceiling up above was in bad shape. We said, what can we do that we can afford to do? And, so we had a pile of old rusted tin."

"This is where they brought the cars in. We took that out.. built that fireplace. Closed in those windows over there to try and get rid of some of this heat was one of the main things."

Building a pool for that same reason was one of the main things too.

"So, we built this pool, and built this 8- foot fence around it. And, built this fountain. The fountain's made out of local rocks. And, this is where we live in the summer."

Ray Fowler/Fowler's Bar-B-Que: "It's unique.. fixed up like he likes it.. that's the way he is."

Ray Fowler's working the family BBQ business his son opened next door.

But he's known Joe for years, and admired his work.

It's amazing what he can do. It really is.

Reporter: "Of joe's many creations, this one truly can not be missed. This bull sits about 12- miles west of Throckmorton off 380. It's 22- feet long, 14- feet wide, and 20- feet tall."

Joe: "I just always liked building the larger pieces. They appeal to me more. The technical part in handling larger pieces."

And, this falcon, commissioned by the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, is a perfect example of a man living out his dream.

Joe Barrington always tries hard to give his customers a little bit more than they bargained for, from his unique work area in his hometown of Throckmorton.

He'll surely do that again this time.

Joe says he comes from a whole family of mechanically minded people.

His granddad even made a good living after buying the first welder taken into Throckmorton in 1936.

If you'd like to see Joe's work for yourself, one of his first sculptures, a large hammer remains on display out in- front of MSU, where he attended college.

And, you can also give him a call at this number for more information... 940-862-3023.

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