ERIE, Colo — An Erie man is creating art out of something most of us throw away without a second thought.
"My medium, well it's paper, and plastic stickers off of fruit and vegetables for my color chips," said Barry Snyder from his home on Thursday. "I chose produce stickers because they spoke to me in a way that no other medium has communicated with me. And I'm just stuck with it."
Since the late 1960s, he's been creating art using those little stickers. Each piece uses a cardboard backing that he sketches the design on, then it's a lot of cutting and gluing.
Thousands of stickers, most of which are sent by total strangers, are needed for every piece.
"Most of these are sent to me in the mail, 'cause I quit eating fruit," Snyder joked.
He said about 40 to 50 people regularly send him stickers.
"It's all donation stuff that's come to me in the mail from all over America. I've got things Japan and Italy, France."
Each piece takes him about a year to create because the process is fairly time-consuming.
"A big challenge is picking a certain color sticker to do a certain part of your artwork and the fruit goes away before you're done and you don't have enough sticker chips to finish your color area, you got to find something else."
There are also changes, he said, with temperature changes.
"It is not happy when you take it out of the warm house into the cold, it starts to shink and flex and get al little weird," he said. ... And then the glue pops and. stickers start falling off.
"I would say I am an artist, I wouldn't say that I am a professional artist that supports myself by my artwork. But I have to say that I do a lot of art," he said.
So what's his goal with all of this?
"I'd like to have a jigsaw puzzle done of this stuff, it'd drive everybody crazy to try and put one of these together in a jigsaw," he said. "Then I could die happy. Just knowing that I twisted all these minds out there with frustration," he said through laughter.
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