When Mike LeRiche retired last year, he did not know what to do with his time.

While he loves riding his motorcycle, he suddenly had so much free time he became bored. He needed more to do beyond doing structural work on his house.

He decided to spruce up the front of his house on Spring Street in Lewiston.

“I bought this place about 20 years ago as a fixer-upper, and I’m still fixing it,” he said Sunday while hanging out in his kitchen with a longtime friend.

That friend had came over to collect his birthday gift from LeRiche, which was sitting on a counter concealed by a grocery bag. It was a piece of artwork LeRiche had just finished.

LeRiche started creating art by making a collection of figures from cans and spare parts he had lying around. When it started to get cold, he thought about tinkering with smaller pieces, always with a theme and some catchy title.

He makes artwork from car and motorcycle parts, kitchen utensils, remote controls and just about anything else he finds.

“I ran out of things around the house and started going to garage sales,” LeRiche said. “I am always looking for cool things that might work for something I am working on or just something that catches my eye and I think would work on a future project — whenever I get an idea.”

Mike LeRiche of Lewiston looks from his living room into his kitchen, which is filled with his unique artwork. Visit sunjournal.com to see a video of his creations. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LeRiche said he got the idea to become an artist while cruising around the internet on Pinterest. He came across photos of “junk art” and started assembling creations of his own.

LeRiche has been writing music and performing in local bands for decades. That creative side combines with his love of motorcycles and science fiction to create his unique style as an artist.

He said his work is always geared toward a catchy phrase or theme that he has written on a card that stays with almost every piece he has made.

“The only requirement is that it has to be funny, it has to make somebody laugh,” LeRiche said.

Friends have suggested taking photos of his art and posting them on the internet.

“Some people make lots of money doing it, but mine are made with just glue and wouldn’t stand up to be mailed,” LeRiche said.

“I know how to weld, so I think that’s what I need to do to maybe take this to another level.”

It is unclear where LeRiche’s artistic talents will lead. He said like many of his motorcycle trips, which have begun with no set plan or destination, the artistic road is open and waiting to be explored.

The one idea on his radar screen right now is creating a life-size figure to spruce up the front of his house on Spring Street.


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