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Jimmy May, Associated Press
In this photo taken May 24, 2011, Ken Marquis, founder of the Landfillart Project, holds an art piece called Frisbee Tuesday, May 24, 2011, while among some of over 800 pieces made using hubcaps he has on display at his art gallery in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. When complete the collection with showcase 1,041 hubcaps, which are used in different mediums by artist from 52 different countries to give them a second life.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — In northeastern Pennsylvania, there's a strange world populated by an oil-soaked mermaid, a dog chomping on a Frisbee, a pasta machine, and a guy named Barack Obama.

It's a bit disorienting. Maybe that's the point, considering these works of art began life as...automobile hubcaps?

It turns out the humble hubcap makes an excellent canvas.

Gallery owner Ken Marquis (mahr-KEE') has persuaded artists from every state and 52 countries to transform discarded metal and plastic wheel coverings into objects of wonder. He's filled two rooms and a hallway with more than 800 works to date.

Beyond the wow factor is an environmental message. Marquis says the goal of the Landfillart Project is to get people thinking about the amount of trash they generate.

He's planning to take the art on tour.