Just as a hunter scouts the land for his prey, artist Bryan Christiansen scours alleys and garbage piles searching for his trophy pieces.
He seeks out discarded pieces of furniture that he can transform into does and bucks to display like taxidermy prizes.
The results of his efforts can be seen in "Bryan Christiansen: Trophy Hunter!" at the Springs Preserve's Big Springs Gallery inside the Origen Museum. The art exhibit continues through Jan. 22.
"I literally go out hunting for it," he said. "There are different alley ways that I frequent behind thrift stores. The hunting season is spring and summer. Now, they're not throwing away a lot of pieces."
And just like a hunter, Christiansen skins his acquisitions and uses every possible part to make his art.
In addition to the freestanding deer that makes up the majority of his exhibit, the walls are covered with "hides" that are actually the upholstery off of complete sofas and chairs flayed out and roughly stitched together.
"Each piece is interesting and totally unique," he said. "When I find a piece of used furniture, I try to figure out what that piece of furniture can or needs to be made into. That's my biggest challenge and what I'm most drawn to. The way I've been working is one piece of furniture for one object."
Christiansen said the exhibit stemmed from his interest in deer, which developed when he was a youngster growing up in South Dakota.
After completing his second year studying fine arts at the University of Nevada, Reno, he went home for the summer.
"I did what I did when I was younger: hiking, camping and spending time in nature."
When he returned to school, his interest in deer grew until he spotted a piece of discarded furniture and decided it was time to get to work.
"I had been seeing furniture laying all over the city. I was repulsed and attracted to the garbage I was seeing. I picked something up one day and made a deer and that started the whole series," he said.
"With hunting and searching out found objects, it's a combination of being interested in what furniture represents and my own past, and bringing them together," he said.
"I'm not making a specific critique about hunting. I don't think that people should not hunt. I grew up hunting, but I don't do that anymore. I think it's about environmental awareness. I want people to think about their own home lives and ideas of comfort and question those things.
"I try not to make too specific a statement. It's in the work and people can pull out what they need to," he said.
"Bryan's work really fits for us on a number of levels," said Jessica Hougen, assistant curator of exhibits at the Springs Preserve. "Basically, it's a collection of discarded furniture set out for trash."
The exhibit brings greater awareness to issues such as sustainability, as it takes things destined for the landfill and repurposes them. It also allows the Springs Preserve to help fill the gap in the number of venues available for artists to showcase their works.
"His art is just stunning. You can walk in and say 'Whoa, that used to be a couch,'" Hougen said.
It's also just plain fun and whimsical. "And it's animals."
Hougen said someone from the staff saw Christiansen's work at the debut of emerging artists series at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.
Christiansen said creating the art, tearing apart the furnishings like an animal, is part of the process that he finds so appealing.
"It's all engaging," he said, comparing his trophy deer to creating ceramics or paintings. "I was missing the performance aspect. I wasn't engaging my body and that was important to incorporate."
Christiansen said he is continuing to expand the collection, adding oversized buffalo skulls and more. "There's a lot I haven't fleshed out yet."
For additional information, visit springspreserve.org.