Art from Food Scraps

Oh Eleanor by Jan Hopkins (detail)

One of the recycled materials that we don’t post about very often is food/food scraps.  According to American Wasteland author Jonathan Bloom, Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption.  Composting is one way to “recycle” food waste, but what about reusing scraps like grapefruit and cantaloupe peels:

Jan Hopkins' award-winning piece "Oh Eleanor" at BAM

Northwest Designer Craftsman Jan Hopkins‘ sculptural tea pot, Oh Eleanor, made from grapefruit peel, cantaloupe peel, ginkgo leaves, ostrich shell beads, cedar bark, and waxed linen, was voted the Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial 2012 Samuel and Patricia Smith People’s Choice Award winner.

Oh Eleanor by Jan Hopkins (detail)

Perhaps one of the most dynamic artists working today, Jan Hopkins is a master at creating sculptural baskets from unusual natural materials. She uses citrus peel, lotus pods, black bamboo, and silver dollar seed pods while simultaneously incorporating traditional basket materials like agave leaves and cedar bark. Each piece is a marriage of deep sensitivity and reverence to materials with heavy emphasis on innovation. Jan began studying basketry with traditional makers, learning the art of meticulous construction and the basics of how to gather and prepare materials. Many of her works contain small pieces that are puzzled together creating elements of amazement and surprise.

“I try to create baskets that preserve the beauty of the materials and create a renewal or continuance to the cycle of life.” via Jane Sauer Gallery

more Jan Hopkins HERE and HERE

Earth Day Art Shows: Fragile Existence


Green Plastic Trash Gyre Baby by Ruby Re-Usable

Ruby Re-Usable has some of her recycled plastic bag art babies  included in Fragile Existence, the Northwest Designer Craftsmen exhibit of sustainable/green/eco-themed art at Bellevue College Gallery, April 20 –  May 21, 2009, with an opening on Earth Day, Wednesday,  April 22, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

This is an all media show in which NWDC artists respond to a theme that ties together Earth Week and “BCC reads the Martian Chronicles”; two events being held at Bellevue  College. The artwork reflects the interaction of contemporary environmental issues with man’s capacity for destruction, conflict, renewal and reinvention. Curator Leslie Campbell invites you to view the work of the following artists:

Barbara Barnes Allen
Lanny Bergner
Danielle Bodine
Bobbi Goodboy
Deborah Gregory
Nancy Clarke Hewitt
Katherine Holzknecht
Lars Husby
Lois James
Diane Kurzyna aka Ruby Re-Usable
C.A. Michel
Carol Milne
Patricia Ressequie
Inge Roberts
Scott Schuldt
Bonnie Tarses
Robin White-Sieber

Mandy Greer at Bellevue Art Museum

Ruby Re-Usable recommends that you visit the Bellevue Arts Museum this summer to admire the work of Sherri Markovitz and Mandy Greer.

Mandy Greer installation at BAM

We were blown away by Mandy’s newest installation, Dare alla Luce, which involves lots of crazy crocheting to create an eerie Pacific Northwest rain forest-like environment with various shades of green yarn, beads, and other materials. We first saw Mandy Greer’s fabric covered deer heads with pom poms at the now-defunct Priceless Works Gallery, but since we don’t get up north very often and therefore did not see it at Bumbershoot nor CoCA, we were thrilled to finally view the white stag installation at BAM. Jen Graves at the Stranger praised the BAM show HERE and Regina Hackett complained about it HERE and Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley posted some pics from the BAM show HERE

The Sherri Markovitz exhibit on the third floor was not open yet when we visited on Mother’s Day, but we did get to see one of her poetic pieces at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma last month.

There is also the City of Bellevue Sculpted Green juried exhibit with contemporary sculptors who, through the materials they use, techniques they employ and/or message they seek to impart relate art to ecology, environmentalism, sustainability and similar green notions; more info HERE