Happy Earth Day!

 Happy Earth Day from Olympia Dumpster Divers!


We love holidays, we really do.  So we really do like the idea of an Earth Day holiday and think that banks should close and kids should get off from school and everyone should make a concerted effort to go green and drink green drinks and do volunteer work and feel all righteous and/or guilty, but then the next thing you know, Hallmark will be making cards and all of the stores will be pushing you to buy more stuff for Earth Day (what, it’s already happening?  the commercialization of Earth Day?  what is this world coming to?!).

Anyway, we also like the way that Earth Day has been expanding from one day, to a week, to the whole month of April … now we have to try to make every day Earth Day.

Ruby Re-Usable is doing her part by making art, not waste and resolving to responsibly re-use the materials she has already hoarded collected before accumulating  more.  So what are you doing?

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

Earth Day Art: Chris Jordan, Artist & Activist


The Stranger’s art critic Jen Graves has finally discovered our hero Chris Jordan; she should have come to the 4th Annual Seattle ReStore Recycled Art and Fashion Show back in 2005, when Ruby Re-Usable curated an invitational recycled art show that included Chris Jordan’s work, oh well, better late than never: read The American Hero and more about The American Hero on Slog

Jen refers to Chris as maybe the most popular artist in Seattle, which got us to wondering who we would pick for our most favorite recycled artist in Seattle/Pacific Northwest (“popular” being a concept that we don’t want to get into) … last year Regina Hackett posted some of her picks HERE

Suggestions for this year?

Earth Day Art Shows: Haute Trash

The Seattle ReStore Recycled Art and Fashion Show with Haute Trash will be happening at the New York Fashion Academy in Ballard (Seattle) on Friday, April 17, 2009, featuring the hottest trashionistas in the west, including incredibly cool The Tollefson Plaza Ice Queen by Mary K Johnson and Lynn Di Nino  (photo by John Carlton)


The Tollefson Plaza Ice Queen is named after the blunderous city government investment of a downtown Tacoma all-concrete plaza.  The two pigeons gracing her shoulders are the only signs of life, ever, in this public space, even in the warmth of summer.  This costume is made of cardboard and Tacoma News Tribune newspaper end rolls,  with our overzealous eye on the budget, just like the design of the plaza itself.  The Tollefson Queen looks like her namesake: conspicuous, cumbersome, frigid, and all dressed up with no place to go. If she dances across the plaza, perhaps she will act as a siren, luring passerby into the cold sea of concrete for a lonesome dance


Earth Day Art Shows: Howard House

Ruby Re-Usable and Second-hand Sid visited several art galleries in Seattle’s Pioneer Square this past weekend, including Howard House, where the theme tikkun olam is explored in an exhibit  entitled Tikkunim: Jewish roots/Ecological Art

We were particularly excited to see work by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who has been creating conceptual art about NYC waste since the 1970′s. She is represented here with photographs of her most recent work in Israel.  These photos just do not convey the magnitude of Mierle’s importance in the eco-art movement, nor her intense way of involving the public in her art.  Learn more about Mierle Laderman Ukeles HERE and HERE


Our favorite pieces were Ilene Sunshine‘s 3-D drawings made from discarded Christmas tree branches.  More ephemeral idea than object, the combination of ironic materials, delicate designs and exquisite craftsmanship kept us intrigued.


We also appreciated the plastic bottles turned precious vases and goblets by Shari Mendelson; we were surprised, though, that none of Shari’s pieces made any direct references to Jewish ceremonial cups, especially since it is Passover and we thought an Elijah’s cup would be de rigueur in such a display.

The models for George Ostrow‘s salvaged materials sukkahs were nice, but the actual sukkah that was installed in the gallery was a box-like structure constructed out of dark wooden slats reminiscent of cattle cars; this temporary dwelling usually designed to celebrate the fall harvest was devoid of festive decorations.  It felt lonely and depressing, but we doubt this was the artist’s intention.

Curated by Tamar Benzikry-Stern and co-sponsored by AJC Seattle Jewish Film Festival, other artists featured are Jackie Brookner, Manya FoxBeverly Naidus, Ann T. Rosenthal, Sharon Siskin, and Ruth Wallen

The Seattle Weekly review of show HERE, Regina Hackett  HERE

Todah Rabah to Howard House for hosting this show; we look forward to seeing more art exhibits combining ecological/environmental/sustainable/green issues with Jewish themes in the future, and hope that they continue to include Northwest Jewish artists (2 out of the 10 artists in this show currently live in Seattle).

Earth Day Art Shows: The Seattle ReStore

The Seattle ReStore’s 7th Annual Recycled Art and Fashion Show opens on Saturday, April 11 at Blowing Sands Gallery during the Ballard Arts Walk, 6pm – 9pm.  Since Ruby Re-Usable had the honor to once again be one of the jurors for this show, we will offer you a sneak peek of some of these resourceful artists’ work:


Cheri Kopp used colorful plastic lids for Faded Glory; Brett Carlson utilized cookie tins for his Earth Day flag


Seattle fiber artist Ann Maki made Every Scrap Matters out of leftover bits of fabric


Northwest Designer Craftsman member Patti Shaw found plastic toys in a free box for Funnybones


and one of our favorite crazy stencil and spray paint artists Bjorn Hartman, alias Legion aka Raw Garbage, created The Skull Channel/ You Are What You See with salvaged wood from the Seattle ReStore; not sure what the story is about the old tv, but it is part of this graffiti-covered video installation which we look forward to viewing in person


hope to see you at the opening, be sure to say hi, love, etc Ruby

Earth Day Art Shows: Phinney Center Gallery


The Watertruck (detail) 2009 by Nancy Peterfreund

April is like Earth Month, and that means lots of recycled/green/eco-oriented art shows happening.  We missed the opening of the Earth Day 2009 juried art show at Phinney Center Gallery in Seattle, which is happening April 3 – May 1, 2009, and features Peter Bentley, Victoria Bjorklund, Lucy Carpenter, Malcolm Edwards, Karen Graber, Deborah Gregory, Elizabeth Halfacre, Ingrid Lahti, Emily Livengood, Thor Myhre, Nancy Peterfreund, Nick Shiflet, and Grace Willard.  Looks like an interesting group; Ruby promises she will check it out while she is up north to see the Seattle Re-Store’s 7th Annual Recycled Art and Fashion Show at Blowing Sands Gallery in Ballard.

Finds Redefined

This amazing recycled art quilt is currently part of the exhibit Finds Refined at Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington, USA, March 14 – June 14, 2009


Ross Palmer Beecher: Tumbling Block Quilt II

Finds Refined is a group show of 15 Northwest artists that work with found and recycled materials.  This exhibit is part of a three-city Recycled Art Exposition, joining the RE Store’s 7th annual Recycled Art and Fashion Shows in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington, USA