We went up to Seattle the other week with our friend and idol, the Queen of the recycled art scene, Marita Dingus, to see her latest exhibit at the Northwest African American Museum. The exhibition, entitled Marita Dingus: At Home, includes the baskets, quilts, and dolls made from a myriad of recycled materials that were once formerly shown at Francine Seders Gallery, with photos by Spike Mafford of how these objects look in Marita’s home studio, where they are casually combined with her doll collection, outside in her goat pen, or being utilized to hold art supplies. The show is up until May 26, 2014. More Marita Dingus HERE and HERE and HERE, more pics of this show HERE
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
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 Senn, Earth911
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 Plowshares; Trash Rap; Q & A with Fashion and Jewelry Designer Baby Steinberg; 100 Trashy Transformations
DON’T FORGET TO “LIKE” RUBY RE-USABLE ON FACEBOOK!
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:
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).
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
Aloha! While on vacation on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Ruby Re-Usable saw some art made from ‘opala (Hawaiian for trash):
We were over a month late for the 24 Annual Trash Art and Fashion Show in Hilo and missed meeting Ira Ono (the coordinator and founder of the Trash Art Show), but we did get to have macadamia nut pancakes (with passion and guava syrup) at Ken’s House of Pancakes with Rayona Visqueen (Hilo’s head trashionista)
The 6th birthday of Olympia Dumpster Divers is this Friday, July 13. We started the blog as a way to tell the story of “Ephemeral Folks,” Ruby Re-Usable’s HERE TODAY temporary art installation project for the City of Olympia in the summer of 2006. After the project was over, we realized that we wanted to keep on posting about our own work, as well as the work of our friends/fellow artists who create art from recycled materials, here in Olympia, the Pacific Northwest, the USA, and around the world. We were and continue to be inspired by Cynthia K’s Art for Housewives, which we think of as the OG of recycle art blogs. Two other trashy blogs that we love started up in the summer of 2006: Everyday Trash and The Visible Trash Society
This blog was started on the birthday of our favorite recycle artist, who just had a show at Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle (June 8 – July 8, 2012):
For more than twenty-five years Marita Dingus has chosen to make art from castoff materials, and this choice and the reason behind it has largely shaped her work. In a 2008 statement she wrote: “I use discarded materials because I see people of African descent as being used during the institution of slavery and then discarded…The goal of my art remains to show people’s ability not only to survive but to prosper under dire circumstances.” Limiting her materials in this way has been a valuable constraint for Dingus. She has an unparalleled ability to select and combine unusual materials in unexpected and thought-provoking ways. Marita Dingus presents an eclectic body of work in her upcoming show. Her emphasis is on the figure—painted faces, “fence people” (figures set into architectural frameworks), and small freestanding or hanging figures—but she continues to make fences and baskets as well. For several years Dingus incorporated glass elements into her work, but in this show she returns to her original mix of re-purposed fabric, leather, plastic, and found objects.
Showing with Marita in the main gallery was a Portland artist that we admire:
Mar Goman works in several art forms and with a variety of materials; nevertheless, there is a distinctive feel to her work that comes from its made-by-hand aesthetic and thematic grounding in spiritual traditions. The current show will include both two- and three-dimensional pieces. Goman’s small collages, made from found vintage papers and objects as well as other media, often combine text with images. They are carefully composed and crafted but have the immediacy of diary pages. Her sculpture often consists of grouped multiple objects or figures that she has made and embellished with text, found objects, and other ephemera. Small in size and simply made of mundane materials, these works carry considerable spiritual weight.
PS if you want to send ODD birthday wishes via post, mail them to: Ruby Re-Usable, Diva of the Olympia Dumpster Divers 416 Washington St SE #201A Olympia, WA 98501 USA
Wondering what we here at Olympia Dumpster Divers have been up to? Well, one of the wonderful things we did lately was venture up north to Hutch Studio in La Conner, WA, where we participated in Chris Theiss’ whirligig workshop, along with fellow trash artists Deborah Paul, Jenny Fillius, and Ross Palmer Beecher. You can see the video from that workshop HERE and more pics HERE
Ruby has not placed her whirligig outside yet (because she still needs to add some finishing touches), but Jenny has; check out Whirligigs in Motion, and read more about whirligigs in Washington State HERE
Seattle artist Patti Shaw has been making and exhibiting her art quilts since 1999, but it was the Seattle RE Store’s 5th Annual Recycled Art Show that inspired her to create art from recycled materials, specifically the leftover votive candle wick tabs. Ruby Re-Usable recently visited Patti Shaw in her Ballard studio, where Patti relayed the following story about how she got started:
In December 2003 I had a show of icon imagery in the chapel of St. James Cathedral, Seattle. When taking down the show, I noticed a sacristan changing out the burned down votive candles, replacing them with new ones. When I saw him doing that I realized that each piece of aluminum represented someone’s prayer so I asked if he would mind saving them for me. A couple of months later, in 2004, they called and told me they had a box for me to pick up. I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I put them in the attic where they sat for a couple of years. In 2006 I saw a call for entries for the Seattle RE Store’s Recycled Art Show. I thought of my recycled prayers in the attic, hauled them out and starting playing with them trying to come up with ideas on how to use them. I finished my piece and entered it in the RE Store’s juried show. It was accepted and turned out to be a great success for me. I later sold the piece and since then have made over 40 works using the recycled prayer wick tabs.
more pics from Ruby’s visit to Patti Shaw’s studio HERE
Elephant in the Room by Jenny Fillius
We have another chance this month to see her work: Jenny Fillius is joined by Bill Herberholz and Nan Wonderly in Scratched, Dented and Reinvented at Gallery 4500 in Seattle, May 9 – June 3 (reception May 20, 6 pm -9 pm, more info HERE)
chandelier by Russ Morgan in the window of the Hotel Monaco
The Kimpton Hotel chain was seeking 3 Seattle artists interested in going through their replaced shower-heads, doorknobs, broken lamps, and other recyclables to incorporate into art works for Earth Day when they discovered Russ Morgan and his upcycle chandeliers. They invited Russ, along with his Just-A-Rumor studio mate Stuart Gullstrand and fellow recycle artist Kim Groff-Harrington, to create temporary art work for the Hotel Monaco, Alexis Hotel, and Hotel Vintage Park.
wine cork and wire nest by Kim Groff-Harrington at Hotel Vintage Park
Read what KOMO News had to say about Russ Morgan’s chandeliers, and then view a Seattle Evening Magazine episode about Russ’ work. While the initial idea was to celebrate Earth Day, which in turn became EarthCare Week, these colorful and playful art works are still on display until May 15
sculpture by Stu Gullstrand
Don’t you wish every day was Earth Day, with upcycle/recycled/green art on display everywhere all the time?!