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!

 

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

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

Aurora Robson’s environmental art

The otherworldly art of Aurora Robson:

The Great Indoors by Aurora Robson at Rice University Gallery 2008

Aurora Robson: The Great Indoors

At Rice University Art Gallery, New York artist Aurora Robson recycles 15,000 plastic bottles into one spectacular, room-sized work of art called The Great Indoors. Visitors enter the gallery through membrane-like, translucent tunnels and move through a colorful landscape based loosely on the micro-world of cellular processes. Attracted by the idea of re-use, as well as by the beauty and complex curves of plastic bottles, Robson used more than 15,000 of them in her installation at Rice Gallery. Robson let the shape and thickness of each bottle determine how she cut it. Then, using heat and at least 55,000 rivets, she constructed and painted lavishly detailed organic forms, which bring to mind deep-sea creatures, jungle plants, and microorganisms. Such allusions to hidden worlds are fitting since it is childhood dreams of oozing blobs and strings that Robson names as the source of all her work.

 

More Aurora Robson HERE and HERE

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

Springtide Dancers by Diane Kurzyna

Ruby Re-Usable has been reusing plastic bags in her art work since 1999 (Wonder Bread bags since 2000).  In 2004 she was commissioned by the City of Olympia to create a piece of art that would be used as the cover image for the spring Arts Walk map, and also become part of the city’s public art collection.  Using shopping bags from local businesses, in combination with other stuff (including decorative plastic sushi “grass,” foil from sparkling apple cider bottles, plastic film canisters, pony beads, soda straws, thrift store Xmas garland, reused chenille stems, a gum wrapper chain, ribbon scraps, plastic bread tags, an empty plastic cap ring, and a pop top), Ruby created Springtide Dancers: three doll-like figures with plastic bottles and cardboard tubes for an armature, covered with old socks and dressed in those colorful plastic bags.

detail of degrading Wonder Bread pants

Fast forward 9 years later, when Ruby notices that the Wonder Bread bag pants of one of the figures have seriously faded and are also photodegrading.  While Wonder Bread is no longer available, Ruby did have a small stash of Wonder Bread bags still available for the necessary repair work.  More pics of the before and after work HERE

Springtide Dancers at Olympia Center (without plexiglass cover)

Maybe the City of Olympia will allow Ruby Re-Usable to include an informational tag on her piece about the dangers of plastic bags; or maybe she will just have to create a new piece of reused plastic bag art that has the information integrated into the art work!

Read more about the problems with plastic bags and how photodegradation creates smaller, more toxic petro-polymers HERE and HERE and HERE

ps Nine years later, we are happy to report that some of those shops are still in business AND have stopped using plastic shopping bags; the City of Olympia/Thurston County are considering banning plastic bags

Earth Day Recycled Art Dolls

student at work on Earth Day art project using recycled materials

April seems to be one of the busiest months for Olympia Dumpster Divers.  We, of course, believe that every day is Earth Day, but it is still nice to have special events that celebrate reducing, reusing, recycling, et al.  The Olympia Timberland Regional Library, in conjunction with Olympia Spring Arts Walk, is joining in on the celebration: art from recycled materials, created by students in workshops with Nora Walsh and Ruby Re-Usable, will be on display this weekend at the downtown Olympia library.  Nora worked with younger students to sew sock kitties, and Ruby showed students in grades 4 – 12 how to make fantastical flora and fauna figurines out of plastic bottles and old socks and other junk.  More pics HERE and HERE.

2 mermaids made from recycled materials

Art from Food Scraps

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

Khalil Chishtee

Just discovered Khalil Chishtee‘s compelling plastic bag sculptures:

"Your success, my failure" by Khalil Chishtee

Khalil Chishtee is a Pakistani artist that uses trash bags to form and mold life. The sculpture’s poses of emotions release and brings out a connecting value that together allows our souls to whisper.  He’s currently residing in California and received his education through Sacramento State.  “Artworks needn’t always portray beauty.” -Khalil Chishtee. via Empty Kingdom

More Khalil Chishtee HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE, video HERE

‘Opala Art in Hawai’i

Aloha!  While on vacation on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Ruby Re-Usable saw some art made from ‘opala (Hawaiian for trash):

We went to Studio 7 Fine Arts Gallery and got a tour of Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa, which offers art classes for adults and youth

collaborative installation by Kathleen Dunphy and Melany Kerver at Donkey Mill

youth recycled art at Donkey Mill Art Center

In Volcano, we visited the Volcano Art Center and Volcano Garden Arts, where we saw art work by Ira Ono and an artsy ukulele by Patrick Inouye

Ira Ono art at Volcano Garden Arts

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)

More Hawaiian Trash Art HERE & Here & HERE & Here & HERE & Here & HERE

Primo beer can ukulele by Patrick Inouye at Volcano Art Center