The sole proprietor at Arlington Muffler and Brake, Mike Nordine creates critters, playful outdoor yard art, sculptures out of exhaust parts, between jobs at his muffler shop, at 101 E. Fourth Street, in downtown Arlington.
After most of a life-time in Arlington, Mike joined the Arlington Arts Council about five years ago and is an active and very helpful member of the AAC board of directors.
It all started when his youngest daughter, Tara, was about six years old. She asked him one day to make her a penguin out of a muffler. He told her, "Princess, you can't make a penguin out of a muffler."
But, it came to him in his sleep that night, and he created a penguin at the shop the next morning.
Since then, Mike has created herds of deer and elk, giraffes and elephants, dairy cows and Holstein pigs. He makes dragonflies and bumblebees, roosters, pheasants and eagles. He has tweaked the details of his muffler medium to create a graceful blue heron.
"Making art puts me in a happy place," Mike said. "Everything I made, I made with love."
Mike, once again, has offered to create a critter to be auctioned at the art show at Arlington's Stillaguamish Eagle Festival, as he has done in the past several years. He created the Big Bug Bike Rack at Arlington&'s Skate Park.
Mike said, "I do a lot of my art in my sleep."