Local artist salvages his inspiration | NevadaAppeal.com

Local artist salvages his inspiration

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Nevada Appeal News Service Ron Fritcher picks out pieces of junk from the Western Salvage Yard between Fallon and Silver Springs with an eye to creating recycled art.

Standing in the Western Salvage Yard between Fallon and Silver Springs, most people see nothing but old cars and junk.

Ron Fritcher sees pieces to his next masterpiece.

In the last 20 years, the 47-year-old Fritcher has done just about every kind of art imaginable.

He helped design art for a music magazine then took a job with Mattel designing packaging for toys. In fact, the toy aisle is littered with his works, on packages of Hot Wheels and Cabbage Patch Kids and many Disney cartoon toys.

Then he went to work for Warner Brothers and created pieces for their cartoons, including “Scooby Doo” and “Iron Giant.”

Along the way he did corporate artwork before moving to Northern Nevada five years ago, where he makes molds for metal lettering.

“It’s just in me, I had an aunt who was a painter and my dad was very creative, so I guess it’s in my genes,” Fritcher said.

But it’s what he creates when he’s not on the clock that has proved the most interesting for Fritcher. In his free-time he scours for junk that he uses to create pieces of art.

He made a replica of the Starship Enterprise and a sailboat out of car parts, a moonlanding scene using G.I. Joes and a Easter Island Head statue resembling Batman.

“All along I’ve been getting scrap stuff and making all these strange pieces. When I worked for Mattel, I used to get Barbie heads and make these creations,” Fritcher said. “I like taking junk and using it to make creative things.”

Fritcher was awarded Best of Show honors at the Recycled Art(icles) show at Western Nevada Community College earlier this month for his space ship using car parts.

“When I started, I thought I’d spend maybe an hour looking for parts because I knew what I needed and how the ship would look. I spent five hours looking for the pieces I wanted to make it work,” Fritcher said.

He said he hopes to create work that inspires people to think, because that’s the kind of art he looks to see.

“The stuff I go and see are the things that make me go ‘wow,’ stuff that jolts me or makes me think ‘they shouldn’t be able to do that,'” Fritcher said.

In addition to creating works, Fritcher is also working on developing several products and, along with several partners, has created a cartoon called “Numbooty Island.”

“My mind is always going 1,000 miles per hour. I see things everywhere that could become pieces,” Fritcher said.

His current goal is to hold on to his title as Best of Show winner at the 2008 WNCC show and said he has already hit the junk yards looking for inspiration.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.