Jim Gary; Created Art From Castoff Auto Parts

Associated Press
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jim Gary, 66, an offbeat artist who created unconventional sculptures such as purple dinosaurs and red ants using auto parts he collected at junkyards, died Jan. 15 at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township, N.J., after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.

Mr. Gary gathered car suspensions, brake shoes and other auto parts and fashioned the pieces into sculptures, many of them life-size dinosaurs that weighed hundreds of pounds.

In 1990, Mr. Gary was asked by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History to hold a special exhibition of his dinosaur pieces.

Larry O'Reilly, executive producer at the museum who arranged Gary's exhibit there, said in an e-mail: "His dinosaurs were fun, clever, warm and 'approachable' by kids, and a perfect 'compromise,' so to speak, between art and science."

Mr. Gary's work also included more serious pieces, such as a bouquet of six roses he completed last year for a Jewish temple to commemorate the Holocaust, and a Sept. 11 memorial he created for the community of Colts Neck, N.J.

Mr. Gary was born in Florida and raised in Colts Neck. He most recently lived in Farmingdale. He often taught students at Monmouth County schools.

Survivors include a sister and four brothers.

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