Hubcaps as Canvas: Ken Marquis Persuades Artists to Turn Junk into Jewels

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WILKES-BARRE, PA (AP).- Upstairs in Ken Marquis’s art gallery and framing shop, you’ll find a strange, cloistered world populated by a toothy dog chomping on a Frisbee, an enigmatic mermaid reclining in a pool of oil, and some guy named Barack Obama, superfluously announcing that “I AM A PRESIDENT.” It’s all a bit disorienting. Maybe that is the point, considering these works of art began life as … automobile hubcaps? The humble hubcap, it turns out, makes an excellent canvas. Over the past three years, Marquis, 60, has persuaded artists from every state and 52 countries to transform discarded metal and plastic wheel coverings into objects of wonder and whimsy. He’s filled two rooms and a hallway with more than 800 works to date, dented old