Face on Metal-Willie Willie
Painted face on a metal disk by Festival Guest Artist William "Willie Willie" Lamendola. 10" in diameter.
William "Willie Willie" Lamendola was always a regular ol’ blue-collar guy, but by no means an artist—at least not by his standards, despite being only six credit hours shy of a college degree in fine arts. Willie Willie is a master with his favorite tool, the plasma torch, which he wields with the grace of a painter and the precision of a surgeon. Willie creates his art from scrap metal which he cuts with the torch and either paints in brilliant colors or allows to weather naturally. For more than 20 years Willie worked in the chemical plants that operate in the area not-so-affectionately known as "Cancer Alley." Working in the plants, he was inspired to use their discarded metal as raw material for his artwork. He says he would bring his creations to show the foreman at work, who would take one look and just shake his head, saying "Willie, Willie..." In time he happily adopted that name when he became a full-time artist.