Sunday, August 3, 2014

C.R.E.A.T.E. Ideas into Art

Andrea Oeding with art project
Finished Waterfall Art 
Citizens Recycling Everything And Turning Endless Ideas into Art. Okay the acronym is a stretch but what we have witnessed this summer has been an awakening in idea awareness.  Where do we start?! Should it be in Spencer, Indiana where our traveling art exhibit stood in a popular hot spot in the McCormick's Creek National Park? There we helped Colleen Minnemeyer and Andrea Oeding create an art piece of the famous park waterfall that was made out of bottle caps - anyone could help and people of all ages contributed.

Redmon Picnic Baskets include
reusable bag for dirty dishes
While in Spencer, IN, with help from Colleen Minnemeyer, all kinds of fabulous work could have been purchased, from hand carved stone memorials by Casey Winningham to a woman spinning wool yarn both done right on the premises.  Imagine watching Casey use a hammer to chisel out letters like they did over 100 years ago or watching a woman's feet peddle like a bicycle as the wheel spun the fresh wool into fine yarn.  We found beautiful handcrafted STONE bowls to vintage picnic baskets w/portable dinnerware - a solution to disposable plastics.  (Mom is that your basket?)  Shelle Ventresca sold her trendy jewelry using recycled vintage jewelry next to Andrea's mom who sews high-end handbags out of recycled fabrics. The festival hummed to local musicians tapping time to simmering local vittles.  Americans are using their skills, talents, and creativity to make money the old fashion American way - by making stuff - good quality stuff out of unwanted materials.  And people who buy these goods are taking the first step in putting money back into the communities instead of in large businesses who often ship the profits to other parts of the world.

Anne Clark with Foot Print
Reno High art piece
We then headed west to set up our exhibit at the University of NV, Reno for the Summer of Sustainability!  What an unbelievable eye popping experience not only the drive across this gorgeous country but to land in a desert drenched with creative minds.  Teachers engaging children under seven in a teamwork project to create a giant monster out of recycled materials.  Reno High school students created a 10'x12' image of a ram on top of a mountain of trash using album covers slated to be taken to the landfill.  We're talking from trash to incredible art.  But among the most innovative would have to be the Green Giant of a foot masterminded by Earth Guardian Anne Clark who, as an art teacher at Incline High school at Lake Tahoe, enlisted students and locals (along with her husband Dallas) to repurposing single use plastics into a 10' foot bearing down on Mother Earth.  It begs the question, "What is your plastic footprint?"  Other giants were extinct dinosaurs and a wooly mammoth made out of recycled cardboard.  There was no end to the grandeur at the UNR Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.

There are three floors of work done by school aged children on up through college and local artists.  The requirement for this juried exhibit was that entries had to be made of at least 80% recycled materials.  What did they do with the vinyls that were inside the album covers?  They were turned into flowers! Art instructor Lauren Gandolfo came up with the plan and they turned out to be so outrageously cool  people were begging to buy them during the 7.13.14 exhibit opening.  To see more images of the gallery along with others mentioned click here.  Over 200 pieces accent the library walls professionally curated by Kaitlin Bryson. The exhibit will be on display until September 30th.

But you don't have to leave the beach to find exquisite art made using recycled materials.  Here in Wrightsville Beach, NC, Jazz Undy uses debris that he finds on the beach along with other unwanted materials to create 3-D paintings.  Looking for quality artwork intertwining 2-D with 3-D and sometimes a touch of humor, you will find it here.
Jazz Undy's 3-D sailboat with 2-D backdrop

A special thank you to Mark Gandolfo, Deanna Hearn, Ashlie Senko, Project Aware, and Mike Collopy, UNR Academy for the Environment, for the effort and financial support bringing  Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.'s "What Goes Around Comes Around" art exhibit some 3,000 miles.  This event put a positive spin on making unwanted resources come back around to having intrinsic value.