From his home studio in Mooresville, sculptor Dana Gingras creates unique pieces of art that can be found throughout the Southeastern United States, from the South Carolina coast and North Carolina mountains to all around the Lake Norman area. One of the newest venues to showcase his work is the Andre Christine Gallery and Sculpture Garden, which Gingras and his parents opened in Mooresville last year. The gallery features the work of dozens of local artists, including Gingras’ large-scale sculptures and custom interior pieces made from steel, wood and glass. “I really enjoy creating pieces that integrate with the surroundings, as if they were always there,” says Gingras. “Maybe a tree seems striking for some reason. Or maybe I find a scrap of steel on the floor that intrigues me. Inspiration can come from anywhere.” Gingras, 35, says that while growing up in Connecticut, it was his carpenter father who first got him interested in working with his hands. He spent his childhood tinkering with his father’s tools of the trade, dabbling in woodworking and building whatever his mind created.“There was always a creative side, a need to express myself and make things, but I didn’t really think in terms of art,” he says. “I always built things, but never considered anything sculpture.”His creative fires were really stoked when he spent time studying abroad at the University of Essex near London in the mid-1990s. Inspired by the rich and historic art scene, he visited museums throughout Europe. “It was then I started to realize what I wanted to do,” he says.When he returned to Connecticut in 1998, Gingras says he spent about three years studying sculpture under the tutelage of noted glass and metal artist Larry Livolsi, who helped him sharpen his skills and focus. “I discovered glass, steel, and wood are my favorite mediums,” says Gingras. “They are all elemental, very natural and basic.” Gingras has since dedicated himself to art full time, and over the past decade has created dozens of pieces for galleries, parks and private residences. He moved to Mooresville in 2009, and along with his father built the Andre Christine Gallery and Sculpture Garden. His latest project is “The Queen,” a large-scale sculpture standing 17 feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds. Once complete, the piece will be available for public display in his gallery.