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Tool Fish: New metal artwork surfaces in Great Falls

Metal fish by Alex Smithson
Alex Smithson art along the River's Edge Trail
Posted at 9:54 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 11:58:21-04

GREAT FALLS — There's a new addition along the Rivers Edge Trail in the form of a giant metal fish.

Great Falls artist and welder Alex Smithson devotes most of his free time to creating sculptures out of a very interesting medium - tools.

Alex said that working with tools as a medium keeps him motivated to create.

“I started welding about eighteen years ago at a construction job and immediately bought a little welder for at home and started doing some side projects," he said. "It’s just a different thing to work with. You can buy brand new sheet metal and stuff but I like finding parts that would often be recycled if I didn’t kind of save it.”

His latest piece, a five-foot-tall fish statue, was created in memory of his friend Ryan Riggin, who passed away a couple of years ago.

Ryan Randall Riggin

“The spot where the fish is at on the trail is actually the last place I got to fish with my friend who passed away so it’s really cool that it’s in this spot and his kids get to fish here and be by the memorial piece for years to come,” said Alex.

The sculpture was placed on the trail near the Milwaukee Station, forever a symbol of hard work and friendship for the community to enjoy.

Click here to check out more of Alex's work.

Metal fish by Alex Smithson