TYLER, TX (KLTV) - David Wallace's art is a treat for the eyes.
But that's by design.
"People eat with their eyes," he says.
Wallace has been in the restaurant business for decades. He says the experience has helped him with his latest passion – art.
"Arranging the food on plates has taught me how to do the art form that I do, which is called 'assemblage art,'" he says.
Thursday morning Wallace and his wife Ann were out on square in downtown Tyler creating. Buckets, paintbrushes and paint cans surrounded the couple. And of course, trash.
"I find an abundance of supplies around the square all the time, and in fact some people even bring it to me and drop it off because they know I do this," he says laughing. "I always tell my wife that I'm so glad that when people think of trash, they think of me."
Wallace lives in Downtown Tyler, and it's there he first found his inspiration.
He began collecting discarded items around the square and the streets and modeled them into art. Over the years, he's constructed pieces out of bits of paper, drink lids and cardboard – lots of cardboard.
"My art is green art. I always use trash to create my works," Wallace says.
His method involves dipping the cardboard into water to make it pliable, molding it to a shape and arranging the pieces within a shallow wooden box he constructs beforehand. When the structure dries, it looks like stone. He then covers the structures in paint.
"The paint soaks into the fibers, and when it dries it's like petrified, solid," he says.
Though large in size, the pieces are surprisingly lightweight.
When he initially began creating, he was surprised at his success. But his paintings have sold for hundreds of dollars and been displayed everywhere from art galleries to office buildings, and have been featured on television and in magazines. Entire collections have sold out.
He also teaches classes, frequenting nursing homes to show residents how to create their own green art.
"People find it pleasing," he says with a smile.
If you'd like to see Wallace's art, you can usually find pieces displayed in windows or on walls of businesses in downtown Tyler.