"Rubbish" report... collage demo

Small collage compositions used during my demonstrations.                      The "Art of Rubbish" was planned as an outdoor event but, due to recent flooding in Colorado and high water in Aurora's City Center Park, it was moved into the adjacent library's community room. Art in Public Places provided the set-up (grid walls, easels, tables) which was great -- I've never shown in a festival-type format and don't own the gear associated with outdoor art exhibitions.My exhibition and demo areaTraffic might've been stronger had we been outside, but the people who did seek us out seemed genuinely interested in the art and how all three participating artists were re-using found materials. Along with the artists' displays, there was a large work area filled with materials for people to experiment with.Meanwhile, I was able to demonstrate the wet working technique that I use most often in my collage-making. I had several 5 x 7" wood panels coated with black gesso that I was using to make small collage compositions. In the photo it's easy to see, by the streaks, where I have painted the matte medium that I use as my glue. By the time these are completed, all the black areas will be coated with a matte finish and look the same. As I worked, I kept thinking about how challenging it would have been to demonstrate outside... my little scraps would've been tossed about like confetti! (If I ever do outdoor demos, I'll need to think through how to incorporate lots of paperweights into my table setup or block the breeze in some manner.)It was a fun day -- thanks to all who came by -- and to the Aurora Art in Public Places commission who were so incredibly helpful and kindly provided stipends to the artists. I really enjoyed discussing my work and the larger issues of re-use and recycling with everyone. Hopefully this will be the first of many such events.

Recycling Reversal: Art of rubbish event

I'm looking forward to showing my collages and demonstrating some of my working techniques at "The Art of Rubbish," a celebration of found-object/item artwork, on Saturday, September 21st, from 10 am - 3 pm at the Aurora Central Library at 14949 E. Alameda Drive, Aurora, Colorado.Art of RubbishOther "Rubbish" artists are Brenda Stumpf and Lily Erb.Meet the artists and work on your own art projects... more details in this Westword blog article: "Create art out of found objects at Recycling Reversal: The Art of Rubbish on Saturday."Stop by and see us... maybe make something out of "almost nothing!" 

Enthusiastic about "Reclamation"

As you might imagine, I have a penchant for artwork that incorporates recycled and repurposed materials.

After having it on my "must see" list for most of the summer, I finally got to the "Reclamation" exhibition at Metro State College of Denver's Center for Visual Art. If you are local, it's on view through August 13th (2011) and worth a visit. If you're farther afield, and are interested in artwork created from reclaimed materials, you may want to explore the work of some these artists online. They are: Sabin Aell, Brian Cavanaugh, Terry Maker, Jon Rietfors, Yumi Janairo Roth, and Ann Weber.

Webersculpt2 Webersculpt1 It's a very engaging and impressive exhibition -- fascinating to see what materials each artist employs and to what effect. While the art is wonderful enough from a distance, to truly appreciate its derivation and the creative re-use of materials requires close inspection. (And those kind of photos were unfortunately not allowed.) 

Among my favorite pieces were the sculptures by Ann Weber which were fashioned from strips of used cardboard, stapled together, to form organic shapes that often took advantage of the printed graphics and die cut slots/openings of the original boxes. A video about her work is helpful in understanding the her thinking, process, and scale. The large pieces in these photos are 8-12 feet tall. 

I was thrilled by the textural wonderment in many of the pieces in the show. Layering of materials becomes very compelling when small bits and pieces are able to take on entirely new forms in combination and through repetition. While I consider these works to be primarily sculpture and assemblage, the thinking behind them certainly was inspiring and has strong parallels to the realm of collage.