Local artist Bryant Martinez and emerging artist Ben Hough recently collaborated on several pieces of artwork, combining Hough's Steampunk art with Martinez's painting. The two held an art exhibit at the new Winthrop Arts Art Factory Gallery in Riverview.

Ben Hough, a longtime Brandon resident, is an extraordinary artist. Hough creates Steampunk art. Specifically, he creates tabletop lights, candleholders, clocks, coat racks/hooks and cigar tables.

Steampunk art is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery.

Hough’s artwork has a very industrial look to it. He uses pipes, salvaged auto parts and clock pieces to create his visually appealing and usable artwork. His lights, clocks and candleholders are eye-catching and different. The fact that they have a purpose makes them so much more than just an unusual art piece.

Hough said, “I wanted to purchase a lamp. When I saw it, I thought that I can do that. So, I just set out to create my own lamp. I evolved from that point.”

When asked to describe his art, Hough added, “My art is made from upcycled items. I make a unique piece. Yes, others do the same kind of art, but none are as unique as mine.”

Hough explained that he surrounds himself with objects such as pipes and clock pieces, works with the pieces and begins to build something. The end product pops into his head and it is what he ultimately produces.

Hough recently entered the 11th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Market in March. This was his first juried art show, and he was awarded one of two Emerging Artist Awards.

Hough said of the win, “I always knew I was an artist, but this win is a whole new thing.”

Recently, Hough collaborated with local artist, Bryant Martinez to hold their first collaborative art exhibit at the new Winthrop Arts Art Factory Gallery in Riverview on May 9.

Martinez said, “After he received the award at the festival, he asked if we could create some art pieces together. The idea of a show together gave us a common focus.”

Hough and Martinez worked on several pieces for the show including a wall coat hanger. Martinez added, “For me, collaborating with other artists is what I love to do.”

You can follow Hough on Instagram @bens_steampunk_19 or call him at 610-8751.