For anyone who knows Michael Jones, it will come as no surprise that even in his childhood years, he was bursting with creativity. In elementary school he’d paint window art to celebrate holidays. As he got older, he took up ceramics and water colors. By the time he reached high school, he’d found his true calling – metal work.

Thirty years later, Michael remains drawn to the enduring qualities of steel. His body of work includes totems, wall pieces, bold sculptures, fire screens and more. While metal is considered by some to be cold and hard, Michael finds joy in bringing life and movement to the medium.

“Everything I see, I see a sculpture,” Michael said. “I wonder how I can recreate that in metal. It’s a challenge and something I love to do.”

Michael wants his art to be full of light and energy. His works are designed to change with light and shadows so as to appear different or moving throughout the day. Perhaps that’s why he finds inspiration everywhere he looks.

“My reed pieces were actually inspired by my wife and I having a picnic,” Michael said. “I looked over at my yard and thought I need to mow my grass. But then I started looking at individual grass blades and their movement. I thought, ‘If I could just get that movement…’”

This innate curiosity and observation of his surroundings is what has propelled Michael’s career forward all these years.

“If you follow your heart, people respond to that,” Michael said. “It lets you continue to follow your heart so your work is always evolving. It lets you take the next step that you wouldn’t be able to take if you weren’t passionate about it.”

After 19 years at the Celebration of Fine Art, Michael’s studio is a fixture visitors flock to. He jokes that while back in Montana, he can become reclusive because he’d rather be in his studio pounding metal that doing most anything else.

“It’s so much more than an art show. It’s a community of artists and collectors,” Michael said. “Plus, it gets me out of snow for a while!”

See more of Michael’s story below: