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Work Samples

Fremont

FREMONT Horse harness & gun holder parts, wooden cinematic tripod, rubber wheels, bowl, aged metals, leather (wall assemblage) H-43" W-32" D-11"

Villa #4B

Villa #4B
VILA #4B Found Wood & Chair Parts, Aged Metal, Photograph (wall assemblage) H-15" x W-22" x D-6"

Red Herring

RED HERRING Horse harness and wagon parts, plastic, formica, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-12" W-24" D-3"

Japan: 3-11-11

Japan: 3-11-11
JAPAN: 3-11-11 VW and tricycle parts, aged metals, rubber balls (wall assemblage) H-30" W-18" D-16" Collection of Andrea Huppert, Glen Arm, MD

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About Mary

Baltimore County

Mary Opasik's picture
Mary Opasik has been working with found object assemblage for 30 years.  She grew up in Baltimore's postindustrial society whose streets and woods were littered with discarded materials.  Opasik's affinity for repurposing is expressed in her sculptural art. Before graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1989 with her B.F.A degree, Mary Opasik worked as a registered nurse for eighteen years while attending art classes at night. The medical profession and personal... more

Arabber Series

Arabber Series began with an invitation to create a sculpture for a benefit to preserve the arabbers of Baltimore. I collected cast off horse and wagon parts from the stables and assembled them into wall sculptures including fish, horse, brassiere and elephant imagery.

  • Fremont

    FREMONT Horse harness & gun holder parts, wooden cinematic tripod, rubber wheels, bowl, aged metals, leather (wall assemblage) H-43" W-32" D-11"
  • ArabBRA

    Leather horse bridle parts, cloth, wire, chair part (wall assemblage) H-35" W-14" D-10"
  • Fishmonger

    Horse harness & wooden wagon parts, shovel handle fragments, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-14" W-33" D-4"
  • Watchful Eye

    Horse harness & furniture parts, watch & sheep sheerer parts, formica (wall assemblage) H-21" W-31" D-3"
  • Red Herring

    Horse harness & wooden wagon parts, metal auto parts, formica, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-12" W-24" D-3"
  • Town & Country Fish

    Horse harness & wagon parts, aged metals, leather holster fragment (wall assemblage) H-15" W-30" D-4"
  • Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder
    Horse harness parts, aged Metals, candle holder fragment, formica (wall assemblage) H-20" x W-28" x D9"
  • Trash Fish

    Harness & tool parts, aged metal, plastic net, shoe form (wall assemblage) H-14" W-24" D-3"
  • Hooked

    Horse harness parts, hooks, rusted utensils, fabric, fireplace screen (wall assemblage) H-30" W-9" D-5"
  • Long Term Memory

    Motorcycle exhaust pipe, furniture parts, plastic, leather, horse harness parts (wall assemblage) H-30" W-25" D-9"

Aquatica

Aquatica is my series of found object assemblage based on oceanic life.
The refuse of our shores and tossed fragments become the bones of new sculpture.
I am driven to collect objects that have an interesting look, feel & aura about them. Usually the pieces seem to find me as I am walking in the woods, streets and shorelines. Sometimes it takes years for me to see a connection between two random objects. From there I find other pieces that seem to link. As the assemblage develops I have many pieces to edit to find the essence. Using hand tools I screw, nail, pin, weld or rivet fragments together.

  • Chair Fish

    Chair Fish
    Chair & auto parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-13" x W-21" x D-2"
  • Hanger Fish

    Hanger Fish
    Aged metals, printed wooden coat hanger parts (wall assemblage) H-22" x W-9" x D-3"
  • Blue Fish

    Blue Fish
    Found auto parts, door and trashcan parts (wall assemblage) H-13" x W27" x D3"
  • Rake Fish

    Rake Fish
    Wood, steel, rake part, paint (wall assemblage) H-16" x W-28" x D2"
  • Palette Fish

    Palette Fish
    Furniture, palette & palette knife parts, screen mesh (wall assemblage) H-15" W-18" D-2"
  • Cymbal Fish

    Cymbal Fish
    Found chair, cymbal and crutch parts, afro fan pick, vinyl (wall assemblage) H-18" x W-25" x D-4"
  • Mariner

    Mariner
    Found chair & wood parts, embossed tin (wall sssemblage) H-18" x W-21" x D-6"
  • Grilled Fish

    Grilled Fish
    Catalytic converter and barbecue grill parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-20" x W-11" x D-1"
  • Swordfish

    Swordfish
    Thatching rake and furniture parts, found wood (wall assemblage) H-17" x W-26" x D-9"
  • Ash Can School Fish

    Bench & ashcan parts, wood, paint, clamp, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-14" W-27" D-5"

Transylvania

In May 2015 I was an INSIDE ZONE resident artist in Borsec, Romania, a town at the base of the Carpathian mountainous. Throughout my life I had heard stories about my mysterious ancestral land of Transylvania.

During my urban exploration of the town’s crumbling villas, hospital and surrounding area, I took photographs. When I returned home I assembled frames from a few objects I collected there in addition to other materials from my studio. I created the odd sized structures first and then placed the archival pigment photographs inside the frames.

  • Hotel Transylvania

    Hotel Transylvania
    Found clay roof tile fragment, wood, hardware, photograph (wall assemblage) H-20" x W-13" x D-1" Collection of Helene Haviland, Gyndon, MD
  • Machete

    Machete
    Found machete and furniture parts, hardware, chains, 3 Photographs (Wall Assemblage) H-32" W-19" D-2"
  • Vila A1

    Vila A1
    Found wood, hardware, photograph ( wall assemblage) H-12" x W-9" x D-2" Collection of Mary Skeen, Baltimore, MD
  • Vila Maharaja

    Vila Maharaja
    Found tool and furniture parts, wood, hardware, 3 photographs (wall assemblage) H-43" x W-28" x D-5"
  • Horse and Buggy

    Horse and Buggy
    Door and broom parts, hardware, found metal horse image, photograph (wall assemblage) H-16" x W-10" x D-1"
  • Two Suitcases

    Two Suitcases
    found wood & trunk parts, photograph (wall assemblage) H-10" x W-14" x D-1"
  • The Gypsy House

    The Gypsy House
    Found furniture seat, brass grating, photograph (wall assemblage) H-13" x W-17" x D-1"
  • Policlinica

    Policlinica
    found painted wood, glass tubes, eyeglass rim, 5 photographs (wall assemblage) H-20" x W-28" x D-4"
  • Waiting Rooms

    Waiting Rooms
    Found furniture and door parts, tin, 3 photographs (wall assemblage) H-20" x W-18" x D-2"
  • Disco

    Disco
    Found wood, tong part, 3 photographs (wall assemblage) H-24" x W-18" x D-4"

Transylvania Gallery Two

In May 2015 I was an INSIDE ZONE resident artist in Borsec, Romania, a town at the base of the Carpathian mountainous. Throughout my life I had heard stories about my mysterious ancestral land of Transylvania.

During my urban exploration of the town’s crumbling villas, hospital and surrounding area, I took photographs. When I returned home I assembled frames from a few objects I collected there in addition to other materials from my studio. I created the odd sized structures first and then placed the archival pigment photographs inside the frames.

  • Villa #4B

    Villa #4B
    Found wood and chair parts, aged metals & photograph (wall assemblage) H-15" x W-22" x D-6"
  • Romany Baby

    Romany Baby
    Rusted frame and tricycle part, chains, photograph (wall assemblage) H-20" W-17" D-8"
  • Shut-In

    Shut-In
    Found painted wooden door parts, tin, photograph ( Wall Assemblage) H-10" W-17" D-3"
  • Borsec

    Borsec
    Burled wood, ceramic spade and fragment, photograph (wall assemblage) 12" x 9" x 3"
  • Asylum

    Asylum
    Found drawer and door parts, rusty pitcher and ladle, belt parts, 8 miniature photographs (wall assemblage) H-38" W-16" D-6"
  • Asylum View

    Asylum View
    Found wooden chair parts & photograph (wall assemblage) H-17" W-10" D- 1"

Birdland Gallery One

Bird imagery has always held my interest. I create unexpected mixed media avian forms from found and recycled objects.

In my studio I still have many piles of unfinished bird projects which I will continue to work on in the future. Sometimes it takes years to see a link between the disparate pieces. Usually I see a connection between two objects and then begin the creative process. Other times I leave project until it hits me what the next object should be. At times I've cut into a piece but it's too late. From there I let the work tell me what it wants. I work and rework the grouping of objects until the assemblage feels complete.

  • Prehistoric Birds

    Furniture and saw parts, aged metals, repurposed tools (wall assemblage) H-48" W-36" D-9"
  • Quacker

    Sink and pencil sharpener parts, brass, oil can opener (wall assemblage) H-12" W-9" D-6" Collection of Dan Shapiro and Cathy Leaycraft, Baltimore, MD
  • Pimpkin

    Pimpkin
    Furniture parts, wood, hardware, wood, keys H-12" W-13" D-6" (wall assemblage) Collection of Gail Langstroth, Pittsburgh, PA
  • White House Birds

    White House Birds
    Furniture parts, keys, springs H-11" W-22" D-3" (wall assemblage) Collection: Tracy Thurber, Sacramento, CA
  • Sentinel

    Sentinel
    Furniture and bicycle parts, aged metals, bathtub leg (wall assemblage) H-19" W-11" D-6" Collection of Andrew Tucker, M.D. Baltimore, MD
  • Majestic Bird

    Majestic Bird
    furniture parts, bathtub leg, aged metals, tin, hardware (wall assemblage) H-24" W-14" D-6"
  • Bird Mother

    Furniture and shovel parts, hardware, wood, paint, wooden bowl, bulb holder (wall assemblage) H-16" W-13" D-8" Collection of Terrie Chastain, Baltimore, MD
  • Bird of Prey

    Bird of Prey
    Furniture and shovel parts, aged metals, wood, hardware (wall asssemblage) H-24" W-19" D-6" Collection of Thea Osato, Baltimore, MD
  • Stalker

    Sewing machine, dust bin and shovel parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-11" W-30" D-8"
  • Biceptor Bird

    Furniture & saw parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-33" W-21" D-5"

Birdland Gallery Two

Bird imagery, with its rich abundance of visual metaphor, has always fascinated me. It has taken shape in “Birdland”, my series of wall assemblages.

As if risen from the ashes like a phoenix, a multitude of found objects—cast-off furniture parts, aged metals and hardware--have materialized into avian forms of fancy, shaped by my vision and the tools and processes of my studio, which together attempt to re-interpret and honor the unique histories betrayed by each weathered component.

Most of the materials in each assemblage were found in local wooded areas as I walked my dog; some were passed along to me by dear friends. My tools and processes are simple: files, chisels, band saws and sanders used sparingly on disparate pieces bolted, riveted, screwed, brazed, and occasionally welded.

"Birdland" was a solo exhibition in 2012 at David Simpson Gallery

  • Cockerel

    Furniture and stove parts, aged metals, shrimp peeler, keys (wall assenblage) H-24" W-20" D-8"
  • Lawn Bird

    Lawn Bird
    Sprinkler and rake parts, aged metals, key (wall assemblage) H-12" W-16" D-3" Collection: Steve & Lorrie Walker, Lewes, DE
  • Hoot

    Furniture and shovel parts, hardware, springs (wall assemblage) H-15" W-18" D-6" Collection of Bill and Ann Hughes, Baltimore, MD
  • Escapee

    Escapee
    Furniture parts, key, brass hardware, wood (wall assemblage) H-6" W-7" D-3" Collection: Pamela Phillps, Butler, MD
  • Endangered Species

    Endangered Species
    Toy gunstock, furniture parts, aged metals, hardware, springs (wall assemblage) H-25" W-15" D-6" Collection: Janice Weinman, Baltimore, MD
  • Duckling

    Duckling
    Furniture parts, boat block and tackle, hooks, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-12" W-11" D-7" Collection: Lois Borgenicht, Baltimore, MD
  • Pinko

    Pinko
    Furniture and handrail parts, aged metals, hardware (wall assemblage) H-29" W-12" D-4" Collection of Jack William Thurber, Sacramento, CA
  • Morning

    Morning
    Furniture, lamp and shovel parts (wall assemblage) H-36" W-27" D-8" Sold to collector by David Simpson Gallery, Hunt Valley, MD
  • Lovebird

    Lovebird
    Furniture parts, aged metals, painted wood, key (wall assemblage) H-23" W-16" D-8" Collection of Zelig and Linda Robinson, Baltimore, MD
  • Dolly

    Dolly
    Furniture and handrail parts, wood, hardware (wall assemblage) H-29" W-12" D-4"

Petite Towns of Character

Traveling and exploring in Brittany, France during a month-long artist residency was the impetus for my body of found object townscapes. Using abandoned paint boxes left by previous artists at the chateau in Rochefort-en-Terre, I began to create my townscapes vision. In my home studio I have continued the evolving, travel-based series using found objects discovered on my daily walks in the woods with my dog. I create my work primarily with old furniture parts, aged metals and cast-off hardware.

  • Old Delhi II

    Old Delhi II
    Furniture and door parts, aged metals, hardware, paint (wall assemblage) H-17" W-31" D-6" Sold to collector by JLP Gallery at Green Spring Station
  • Green City

    Green City
    Furniture, rake and door parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-22" W-18" D-9"
  • Morbihan

    Morbihan
    Door and furniture parts, hardware, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-14" W-19" D-5" Collection of James A. Wheeler III and Nancy Scheinman, Towson, MD
  • Japan: 3-11-11

    Japan: 3-11-11
    JAPAN: 3-11-11 VW and tricycle parts, aged metals, rubber balls (wall assemblage) H-30" W-18" D-16" Collection of Andrea Huppert, Glen Arm, MD
  • Old Baltimore

    Old Baltimore
    Ladder and paint box parts, wood, hardware, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-28" W-27" D-5"
  • Hampden

    Hampden
    Aged woods, rake parts, discarded lawn ornaments (wall assemblage) H-30" W-27" D-8"
  • Fez

    Fez
    Furniture and door parts, aged metals, hardware (wall assemblage) H-18" W-17" D-3" Sold to collector from Y:Art Gallery
  • Fortress

    Fortress
    Furniture, rake and door parts, aged metals, paint, rake teeth (wall assemblage) H-14" W-19" D-5" Sold to collector by MICA
  • Morocco

    Morocco
    Furniture, door & wood parts, paint, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-15" W-15" D-6"
  • River City

    River City
    Furniture, rake, sprinkler and shovel parts, wire (wall assemblage) H-28" W-36" D-6" Collection of Andrew Shindler, Baltimore, MD

Skeletons and Cops

With my background in nursing I became engrossed with SKELETONS and anatomy. I felt driven to create my own interpretation of the human framework using furniture parts, old bathtub legs and copper tubing. "Family Secrets" is based on my own life experience of adoption and reunion.

COPS was influenced by the national television series "Homicide: Life on the Streets" filmed on location in Baltimore. Although the show was a fictional version of the Baltimore City Police Department's homicide unit, I've always been fascinated with true crime. I got to know some of Baltimore's homicide detectives and they inspired my work.

  • Family Secrets: (Father, Mother, Child)

    Family Secrets
    Furniture, wood (burned), copper tubing, aged metals, spade parts, bathtub legs, hanging from metal stands H-70"" W-80" D-12"
  • Ooommm

    Ooommm
    Furniture parts, aged metals, hardware (wall assemblage) H-36" W-24" D-13" Collection of Barbara & Louis Denrich, Owings Mills, MD
  • Blonde Skeleton

    Blonde Skeleton
    Furniture parts, aged metals, brass, wood, metal stand (freestanding) H-72" W-21" D-26"
  • Labor of Love

    Labor of Love
    Furniture parts, aged metals, hardware, painted door (free standingassemblage) H-28" W-57" D-30"
  • Guard

    Guard
    Furniture and tool parts, aged metals, wood, keys (wall assemblage) H-24" W-12" W-5" Collection of Jeremy Sitzer, Baltimore, MD
  • Watch Commander

    Watch Commander
    Furniture and car parts, tin, copper, brass, stove and tool parts (wall assemblage) H-25" W-23" D-5" Collection of Vilja Lewis-Klein, Reisterstown, MD
  • Siren

    Siren
    Furniture parts, aged metals, plastic, lantern parts (wall assemblage) H-19" W-17" D-7" Collection of Detective Lieutenant Richard Long III, Lewes, DE
  • Cop-out

    Cop-out
    Furniture and lantern parts, aged metals, rubber stamp (wall assemblage) H-19" W-15" D-4" Collection of Lee Anderson, Columbia, MD
  • Arrest

    Arrest
    Bicycle, sled, tool and lock parts, aged metals, chain (wall assmblage) H-22" W-11" D-5" Collection of Kate Norris, Baltimore, MD
  • Detective Lieutenant

    Detective Lieutenant
    Furniture and stove parts, aged metals, keys, brass, copper (wall assemblage) H-26" W-12" D-8" Sold to collectorby Catherine Evans

Adoption Series

Reunion with my only child who I had to relinquish for adoption at birth, has led me into a visual journey of familial experiences we all can share. Symbolic of a former secret life and identity, I unite found objects into sculpture.

  • Born Anew

    Born Anew
    Ladder parts, aged metals, copper, wood, tortoise shell (wall assemblage) H-18" W-11" D-7" Collection of Steve Ratoff
  • Single Parent

    Single Parent
    Furniture and lamp parts, aged metals (wall assemblage) H-48" W-36" D-4" Collection of Terrie Chastain, Baltimore, MD
  • Avenger

    Avenger
    Furniture and tractor parts, aged metals (wall sculpture) H-30" W-29" D-4" Collection of Barbara and Louis Denrich, Owings Mills, MD
  • It's a Girl/Boy!

    It's a Girl/Boy!
    Furniture and stove parts, aged metals, wood (wall assemblage) H-36" W-29" D-4" Sold to collector by Coast Gallery , Pebble Beach, CA
  • Searcher

    Searcher
    Furniture and shovel parts, aged metals, keys, copper (wall assemblage) H-32" W-23" D-5" Collection of Huntsville Museum of Art
  • In Custody

    In Custody
    Lock parts, aged metals, chain, wood (wall assemblage) H-12" W-9" D-3" Sold to collector by Images Friedman Gallery, Louisville, KY
  • Birthmother

    Birthmother
    Furniture parts, aged metals, mirror, strainer (wall assemblage) H-49" W-20" D-4" Collection of Vilja Klein-Lewis, Reisterstown, MD
  • The Matriarch

    The Matriarch
    Furniture parts, aged metals, stair spindle, paint (wall assemblage) H-45" W-18" D-4" Collection of Project Plase, Inc., Baltimore, MD
  • Original Mother

    Original Mother
    Furniture parts, wooden bowl, hardware, mirror (wall assemblage) H-24" W-24" D-4" Collection of Kasi Campbell, Columbia, MD
  • Birthfather

    Birthfather
    Furniture, door and sled parts, fishhook, gunstock (wall assemblage) H-44" W-14" D-5" Collection of Dana Lipsig, NY, NY

Figures

Inspired by personal experiences to guide my work, I create figurative assemblages out of found objects. My materials are mainly cast-off furniture parts, aged metals and old hardware found weathered in the woods. I construct my art using basic tools such as saw, hammer, rivet gun, sander, screw driver. Typically I will attach the pieces with bolts, rivets, screws, or nails but on occasion I will use a welder to fuse metals.

  • Dancin' Fool

    Dancin' Fool
    Furniture parts, hardware, clock and watch parts, buckle (wall assemblage) H-17" W-22" D-4" Collection of Tracy Thurber, Sacramento, CA
  • Forbidden Fruit

    Forbidden Fruit
    Furniture parts, aged metals, upholstery fabric (wall assemblage) H-53" W-43" D-7" Collection of Ed and Elaine Mazzetta, Perry Hall, MD
  • In Trouble

    In Trouble
    Furniture parts, aged metals, burned matches, hardware (wall assemblage) H-30" W-26" D-3" Collection of Zelig and Linda Robinson, Baltimore, MD
  • Birder

    Birder
    Furniture and binocular holder parts, wood, wire (wall assemblage) H-21" W-11" D-8"
  • Tree Spirit

    Tree Spirit
    Furniture parts partially burned, aged metals, hardware (wall assemblage) H-33" W-20" D-10" Collection of Gary Koeppel, Pebble Beach, CA
  • Harbinger's Net

    Harbinger's Net
    Tea kettle spouts, drift wood and shells, copper (wall assemblage) H-16" W-8" D-5" Collection of Terrie Chastain, Baltimore, MD
  • Passage

    Passage
    Furniture parts, aged metals, spring, key (wall assemblage) H-20" W-31" D-8"
  • Latch Key Child

    Latch Key Child
    Lock and door parts, chains, skate key (wall assemblage) H-13" W-8" D-7" Collection of Nanci Edwards, Alexandria, VA
  • Collector and Self Portrait

    Collector and Self Portrait
    Found object assemblage mounted on vintage dress mannequin: chains, wire rope, shells, aged metals, beads, broken jewelry bits. Found object wall assemblage portrait: bentwood fragment mounted on sheet metal with wrapped chains, ropes, wire. Objects similar to above on mannequin. H- 69" W-19" D-17" 2 artworks created for "Ordinary Woman", Site Specific Collaboration/Installation at Howard County Center for the Arts 2014
  • The Widow

    The Widow
    Furniture parts, burned wood, copper, wire, tortoise shell (wall assemblage) H-35" W-24" D-8"

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Mary's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.