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Artist Creates Wood-Carved Pieces Inspired By Dairy Queen Menu

An art installation at the Galveston Arts Center in Galveston, Texas, titled “Thank You, Please Drive You,” displayed a series of Dairy Queen-inspired carvings, sculptures, and paintings, including a 5-foot-long banana split, a lifesize cherry Dilly Bar, an array of Blizzards, and an oversized steak finger basket that is unique to Texas Dairy Queens.

The pieces are the work of local artist Camp Bosworth, a Galveston native who is renowned for his quirky, larger-than-life sculptures that tackle the modern-day West with sardonic humor. The artwork has been carved out of wood and painted in bright DQ colors with enamel or acrylic paint.

The exhibition, which ran until March 3, is still featured on Artsy. One of the most striking items — a 48-inch-by-72-inch-by-5-inch painted and carved panel of a Beltbuster Basket — is listed at $6500.

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Bosworth, who graduated from the University of North Texas with a BFA in Paintings and Drawings in 1989, works in two mediums — sculptures in carved wood and painted wood with gold and silver leaf, and oil paintings on canvas and on assembled wood. The artist says that as a native Texan, he has been influenced by the traditions of artisans, including woodworkers and spur makers, as well as guilders and gunsmiths. Also, as a Texan living on the Mexican-American border, he has been shaped by Narco Corridos, the politics of the border, and the ongoing cartel wars.

Among his artistic influences, he names Red Grooms and Marsden Hartley, as well as contemporary American folk art, handcrafted objects, and antique objects that display the artist’s talent and the aging process. Bosworth says he became a sculptor by default, given his purported lack of woodworking skills.

As explained on the Artsy page, “this exhibit is Camp's focus on his memories of Dairy Queen and the iconic representatives of the small-town burger and ice cream joint.”

The Dairy Queen restaurant in Galveston was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, so the exhibit had a hint of nostalgia for some visitors.

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Center executive director Lisa Simmons-Shaw said the exhibit had been a big hit and attracted “a whole new crowd of visitors” who came to see pieces like Bosworth’s Wooden Dipped Cones, Y'all, which were carved in cedar in a variety of sizes.

Bosworth, 59, sells artwork at Wrong, which is set in a former church, in Marfa, Texas, that he owns with his wife. Last year, the shop was named the “most beautiful independent store” in Texas by Architectural Digest.

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