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Creativity at Codo

Midstate residents will see some pieces of their past when
they walk into York’s
Codo this spring – though they might not necessarily know it.

Midstate residents will see some pieces of their past when
they walk into York’s
Codo this spring – though they might not necessarily know it.

That’s because those pieces will be in the shape of gracefully
twisting metal rods entwined in stairway railings or dappled copper panels
hanging in the first-floor offices of Wagman Construction Inc.

The pieces, and a variety of other finishing for the
mixed-use project at 241 N. George
St., will be created from salvaged scrap metal and
materials by Patrick Sells and Casey Tyrrell, two local artists calling
themselves Salvaging Creativity.

The Codo artwork is a large segment of the fledgling
business, which moved into the former York Manufacturing facility on West Philadelphia Street
in York last
November and is on the verge of re-launching itself to the community.

Sells and Tyrrell also are creating sheet-metal cutout
apartment numbers and a bike rack for the residential component of Codo. For
the Wagman offices, they’re fabricating sink supports, conference-room door
handles in shape of construction implements and gear-studded conference-room

Perhaps most visibly, the duo is making the main door
handles for Wagman out of a gigantic 1930s-era elevator gear.

“We wanted office space to not only be aesthetically
interesting but also to say something about our company,” said Eric Menzer,
senior vice president of Wagman Construction Inc.

“Pat and Casey’s work is representative in a couple of ways:
It’s very unique and distinct and artistic but also practical. They’re not just
making art for art’s sake. What they’re doing is making very functional,
architectural art.”

Wagman also was attracted to the “green” elements of what
Salvaging Creativity does, Menzer said, because the company plans to submit an
application for its offices to become Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED)-certified.

All of the materials Salvaging Creativity uses are reused –
and the company’s cavernous workspace is filled with everything from piles of
pipes and seemingly random parts to multiple sheets of glass. 

Sells is quick to point out that Salvaging Creativity does
more than just slap a gear under a table and call it a day. 

“We keep taking pieces away

until you can say ‘What was that?’ and there’s a hint of
what it used to be that leaves you interested,” he said.

Those layers are what make a piece of art interesting – or a
place, like York,
he said.

He is excited about the exposure the Codo project will give
Salvaging Creativity – much of the company’s work will be visible from the
street through the buildings’ lighted glass fronts.

He hopes to piggyback on that to increase Salvaging
Creativity’s presence in the midstate.

The other half of Salvaging Creativity’s business is now
with two groups in Montgomery County, Maryland – Helicon Works and Abrams
Design Build

Sells said Salvaging Creativity soon plans to launch its own
Web site, and Helicon Works also will dedicate a portion of its site to the

Salvaging Creativity now operates only by word of mouth.

Salvaging Creativity also plans to work on a series of
tables and lighting fixtures with York’s Rudy Art Glass and then publicize the
products through a mailing.

And Sells and Tyrrell have big plans for their three-story,
26,000-square-foot space: adding a sculpture garden, public showroom, artists’
studios and living space for the duo on the third floor.

They hope to have enough municipal approvals over the next
several months to open their space to the public and display their art, Sells

“We want to do right by the Codo stuff and show people what
we can do,” he said.

Artist Homestead Program benefits metalworkers

Billed as the country’s only citywide artist relocation
program, the Artist Homestead Program offers the following incentives for
artists to move to York and live in the same building as their studio:

  • $5,000 no-interest loan forgiven over five years ($6,000
    for a location in York’s Cultural District)
  • Up to $3,000 of one-on-one architectural counseling from
    York’s Murphy & Dittenhafer Inc.
  • Guaranteed loan financing from PeoplesBank at prime
    interest rates
  • 10-year full tax abatement for new construction or

If an artist relocates to York and does not live in the same
building as his or her studio, or an artist already living in York makes
“significant” improvement to a combined living and work space, that artist is
eligible for all of the abovementioned incentives, but the forgivable loan can
only total $1,000, forgivable over four years.

Six artists have enrolled in the program since it began in

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