Seattle RE Store recycled art show 2014

The Seattle RE Store‘s 13th Annual Recycled Art Show is opening this Saturday, April 12, 6 pm – 9 pm at Blowing Sands Gallery in Ballard (show runs through May 7).  Ruby Re-Usable was once again one of the jurors (along with our friend in recycled art, Cheri Kopp, and gallery owner David Smith).  The range of materials artists reuse to create their work is always interesting; here are a few of our favorites from this year:
"Gimli" by Jennifer Kuhns salvaged stained glass on reused cupboard door

“Gimli” by Jennifer Kuhns                                                                                                salvaged stained glass on reused cupboard door

"Dick's Deluxe" by Brian Brenno recycled tins

“Dick’s Deluxe” by Brian Brenno         recycled soda and beer cans

"Cheerios Chair" by Sari Israel woven cardboard cereal boxes

“Cheerios Chair” by Sari Israel
woven cardboard cereal boxes, cans, old chair

We look forward to seeing this show and the art work in person!


SUSTAINING: group art show

We are so honored to be part of this environmentally-themed group art show:


Abmeyer Wood Sustaining group show

opening on April 3 for downtown Seattle’s First Thursday Art Walk, 6 pm – 8 pm, at Abmeyer + Wood (right across the street from Seattle Art Museum).

Some of the artists in this exhibit are names you should be familiar with: Marita Dingus, Steve Jensen, and Ruby Re-Usable, along with Alfredo Arreguin, Matthew Dennison, Karen Hackenberg, Gaylen Hansen, Meg Holgate, Holly Lyman, Lynda Lowe, Ann Mallory, William Morris, Annie Marie Musselman, Catherine Eaton Skinner, Raven Skyriver, Rob Snyder, Phil Stoiber, Jason Walker, Melissa Weinman, and Suze Woolf.  We are looking forward to meeting these artists/making new friends/seeing new ways to “Make Art Not Waste” and otherwise promote eco-art issues.

Wonder Baby by Ruby Re-Usable

Wonder Baby by Ruby Re-Usable

The Facebook invitation is HERE.  Speaking of Facebook, have you “liked” Ruby Re-Usable yet?  Find me on Twitter HERE and Instagram HERE 

And if you are ever in Olympia (Washington, USA), stop by and say hey at Matter Gallery (my studio is upstairs)!

Curbside Object Status Tags

We here at Olympia Dumpster Divers love to receive mail*, especially packages via the USPS (FedEx and UPS do not deliver to us).  So we were thrilled when we received a special package from our new friend in trash, Sarah Nicole Phillips:

Curbside Object Status Tags from Sarah Nicole Phillips

Curbside Object Status Tags from Sarah Nicole Phillips

These are her Curbside Object Status Tags, which is a tag that folks can put on the objects they leave out for trash pickers (here in Olympia, we specifically call it a “free pile,” which is usually not next to a trash can but can be mistaken for a random trash heap by passersby), to help people make an informed decision about the quality of the object. Sarah says “I love trash picking but am dubious when I come across an object that may or may not work. Do I drag that object home only to find it is broken?”  

Note that Sarah suggests that you fill out the tag in pencil so that it can be used again!  Thank you, Sarah, for thinking of us; we look forward to using these tags once it stops raining so much (soggy free piles are sad, and yes, here in the Pacific Northwest it really does rain a lot).

Tell us your trash stories/send us pics of you using your tags (we KNOW ODD readers are going to want them) and we will post them:

*send Olympia Dumpster Divers mail via USPS:  Ruby Re-Usable                               416 Washington St SE #201  Olympia, WA 98501

Happy Hearts Day

We here at Olympia Dumpster Divers <3 handmade, reused hearty art:

Take a peek at Ruby Re-Usable’s Recycled Heart Art gallery on flickr

Check out these 50 Recycled and Repurposed Valentines 

Jennifer Kuhns recycled glass mosaic heart

Jennifer Kuhns recycled glass mosaic heart
Today and Tomorrow by Eric Osborne at Matter Gallery

Today and Tomorrow by Eric Osborne at Matter Gallery

plastic bag heart garland via Aunt Peaches

plastic bag heart garland via Aunt Peaches

Dee-dee Redux: recycle art collages


Assassination Day Trays by Deborah Faye Lawrence

Assassination Day Trays by Deborah Faye Lawrence, 2004

“On the afternoon of April 4, 1968 my dad picked us up at Oceanside High School. He was listening to the news on the radio, and Dad was furious. ‘Well, they did it. They murdered him,’ he fumed, as Sandy and I squeezed into the back seat of the Volkswagen. ‘Martin Luther King is dead.’ The announcer on the radio was talking and my dad was talking back. ‘What do you expect?’ said my dad. ‘What the hell do you expect when one guy takes on the whole goddamned racist establishment?’ As Dad muttered and cursed and impatiently steered the car toward the day care center where my little brother was waiting, Sandy and I sat quietly in back. I had the sense to keep my mouth shut when he was mad, but Sandy didn’t know my dad. The voice on the radio was saying ‘Dr. Martin Luther King, killed by a gunman’s bullet at age 39…’ and my dad jerked the wheel hard to the left. ‘Ku Klux Klan FBI assassin, you mean,’ he growled.

Sandy chose this moment to say, ‘Well, it doesn’t really matter. That guy was just a nigger.’

My father jammed on the brakes and spun around. He suddenly took up all the space in the car, and his grimace was an inch from Sandy’s perfectly suntanned nose. ‘Listen, little girl,’ he snarled. ‘You are just an ignorant little piece of trash. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. That man was the closest thing to a hero we had in this county. Some day if you’re lucky, little girl, you might wake up out of your stupor and have the sense to—’
Dad gave up talking and turned back to his driving. I sneaked a glance at Sandy. I’d known her since Jr. High, but we had never talked about politics. I saw some tears on her face. I sat back against the seat and felt proud of my dad, and sad about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.”

- Deborah Faye Lawrence, text of an autobiographical story told on her Assassination Day Trays, 2004, Acrylic, collage and varnish on a tin baking pan and recycled tin TV tray, 29 x 17.5 inches

Ruby Re-Usable went to ArtsWest in Seattle this weekend to see Deborah Faye Lawrence: Dee-dee Redux, a retrospective of work by artist Deborah Lawrence.  We first encountered Deborah’s recycle art collages back in 2004, when we were both included in the Re-Store’s 3rd Annual Recycled Art Invitational (juried by Marita Dingus) at Ballard Works in Seattle, WA.  In 2008,  Olympia Dumpster Divers posted about her controversial ornament.   More pics from Saturday’s art opening HERE and HERE 

Have a Trash-free New Year

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

Still our favorite art from recycled materials blog: Art for Housewives

And still our favorite trash blog: everydaytrash

Our wish for 2014: Good Luck (by Jenny Fillius)

Our wish for 2014: Good Luck (by Jenny Fillius)

More Favorites: Lady Bug Circus (tin assemblage), Barbara De Pirro, Pat-Works (heavy metal with light), Matter! Gallery (art and sustainability), Visible Trash, Marita Dingus, Haute Trash, Patti Shaw, Recycle Runway, Holly SennEarth911

New favorites: Inspiration to feed your recycling mind: RecyclartReuse, reclaim, reimagine: Haute NatureArtist self portrait from recycled bottle caps (via Great Green Goods), Toys from Trash

Things we were going to post about and never got around to it until now:  25 Ways to Reuse Cans (thanks, Urban Woodswalker); Sculptor John T Young: Turning Swords into PlowsharesTrash RapQ & A with Fashion and Jewelry Designer Baby Steinberg100 Trashy Transformations


Have a Trash-free New Year!

Have a Trash-free New Year! via Ecouterre


Marita Dingus: Trash Fashion, Trash Art, and Trashed Art

Remember back in May when we posted about the mavericks made from recycled materials that the McClure Middle School 7th graders created with Marita Dingus and Ruby Re-Usable?  We promised an update when they were installed.  Well … it never happened.  The finished art work, the artists’ examples and some leftover materials, were all stored in a school portable over the summer, along with surplus computer equipment and other junk.  Right before the installation was slated to occur, the unthinkable happened: the rush to transform the portable into a classroom to accommodate the increased enrollment led to the accidental disposal of our horses.  Gone.  Trashed.  While we are disappointed about this unfortunate incident (we were devastated for a while, which is why it took us almost 3 months to post this),  we will continue to Make Art, Not Waste!  Only now we will be more careful in how it is stored and displayed.

Marita Dingus has not only been busy making art, not waste, she has had 2 exhibitions of her work in Seattle this fall:

Marita Dingus at the NW African American Museum: Fashion-Free-For-All exhibit

Marita Dingus at the NW African American Museum: Fashion-Free-For-All exhibit

At the Northwest African American Museum, you can see Marita Dingus: Fashion Free-For-All (8/17/13 – 1/5/14) in the PACCAR Gallery, and Buddha as an African Enslaved (10/12/13 – 1/12/14) in the Northwest Gallery (more pics HERE).

Beaded Flower Child 1 and 2 Francine Seders Gallery Marita Dingus art opening  IMGP9709

Beaded Flower Child 1 and 2 by Marita Dingus at Francine Seders Gallery

The soon-to-be-retired Francine Seders Gallery had a 4 person show this past month (it closes today), with Jacqueline Barnett, Elizabeth Sandvig, Laura Thorne, and Marita Dingus.  We went to the reception on November 10 and took a few pics (more HERE)

The Seattle Art Museum’s permanent collection includes a piece by Marita Dingus

Marita was part of the Inside Art/Why Do We Make Things panel (9/10/13) at Town Hall

Marita will be part of a group show, Equipollent: The Artists of Inside Art 2013, 12/5/13 -12/21/13, at Standing Visits Project

Marita Dingus's exhibit Fashion-Free-For-All at Northwest African Art Museum

Marita Dingus’s exhibit Fashion-Free-For-All at Northwest African Art Museum



GO TEAM: Donna McCullough

Thank you to our Olympia Dumpster Divers friend Urban Woodswalker for turning us on to Junk Culture and also to Donna McCullough’s Sculptural Dresses Crafted from Vintage Oil Cans which are now at Morpeth Contemporary Gallery

Donna McCullough Drill Team series

Donna McCullough is a recipient of the “Recognition of Excellence” award from the James Renwick Alliance, a national non-profit that supports the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, which celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists.

I am known mostly for my work depicting women’s dresses, which are a diary of sorts that chronicle my life events. The dress sculptures have grown and changed through time – Initially dealing with the treatment of women in the workplace and presently speak of rejoicing in the possibility that life brings; our union with nature and going forth in beauty. The pieces are created from various metals including steel and vintage oil cans.  Donna McCullough

More Sculptural Fashion Created From Oil Cans

Learn how to make a Steel Cheerleader Dress Sculpture

Buster Simpson at the Frye

Buster Simpson has a retrospective of his work at the Frye Art Museum.  We went to Seattle to see  Buster Simpson/Surveyor twice; if you can not make it to the Frye (hurry, the show closes October 13, but it is FREE), you can at least read what Jen Graves has to say about our hero: Everything to Know About Buster Simpson in One Place

Buster Simpson Frye Art Museum Crow IMGP8762

You should also know what Regina Hackett had to say about this awesome artist:

Simpson doesn’t just straddle the divide between the functional and the poetic; he makes it disappear. In so doing, he has given the Northwest a revitalized myth of itself.  Regina Hackett, Earth Day Salute, 4/20/08

(and you can see Ruby’s flickr pics from the Buster Simpson/Surveyor HERE)

This Re-Usable Life: New Jersey

Ruby Re-Usable made a pilgrimage back to her home state this summer, and while she did not get to check out all of the weird, wonderful, artsy and trashy sites of New Jersey, she did get to briefly visit the Jersey Shore, specifically, the Asbury Park area, where she was impressed by the art from salvaged materials of Roddy Wildeman.

Roddy Wildeman in his studio

Roddy Wildeman in his studio at Torche’ Galerie in Belmar, NJ

Roddy owns and manages Torche’ Galerie in Belmar, NJ.    For the past 15 years, he has also worked as a carpenter, renovating homes and reusing salvaged wood for his starburst assemblages:

During the renovation process I watched as building debris and other materials piled up to be discarded. I began to feel mixed emotions as I thought about the history associated with these items.

I decided to ask the residents if I could salvage this material-building debris, metal and furniture. I began to repurpose and use it to make art. Although I’m not formally trained as an artist, I worked under master carpenters and absorbed their craft. There is something about knowing these items have been cherished that inspires me. I feel an intimate connection working with materials knowing they have passed through the hands of others. They have sentimental value, because they have been part of homes and the families that lived, loved and died there.

Roddy Wildeman's studio at Torche' Galerie, Belmar, NJ

Roddy Wildeman’s studio at Torche’ Galerie, Belmar, NJ

Roddy Wildeman’s work took on a greater poignancy when he started using debris from the boardwalks demolished by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  The artwork has become a way to memorialize the shore communities. Pieces include debris from a number of shore towns, including Ocean Grove’s fishing pier and Long Branch.

wood assemblage by Roddy Wildeman

wood assemblage by Roddy Wildeman

More about Roddy Wildeman HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE