Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Upcycling…(Art from Nothing) at The Edge In Bigfork

The amount of “stuff” Americans throw out is amazing, and so is how it can be reused.  This month you can see some creative ways at Upcycling (Art from Nothing) at The Edge Gallery in Bigfork.  Maybe an inspiration is waiting for you, and we can see your art at next year’s show. Upcycling art can be challenging, an adventure, a treasure hunt, simple, and certainly fun. Dates September 5 to October 5. Artist’s reception September 6, 5-7 PM with treats provided. Gallery hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is free to the gallery and the reception.

For most of us recycling has become a common part of daily life. No one really thinks much about separating trash into paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, and other metals.  And we have confidence, that by recycling, less will end up in landfills. Well, how about some it ending up as art? This is the first Upcycling art show at the Edge Gallery and some beautiful pieces are on display. The above is one of four sculptures made from used steel, by Ken Steel from Balsam, Minnesota.

Here are a couple of the several familiar faces at the show. They are some of the giant puppets making an encore appearance.  From the “Wilderness Almanac” performance at the Edge and in the Bigfork Wilderness Days parade, the puppets were made of old bits of paper, cardboard and other materials.  The artists were Bigfork students who created them during a 2012 residency directed by Theresa Linnihan and Patty Feld.  Here is a chance to meet some of them up close and personal.  Maybe they will be annual visitors for the event.

Did you ever wonder what to do with those old books that are just gathering dust on your stuffed shelves? Julia Feld Strand created an answer by turning some old books into shadow box relief sculptures. By doing so, they become great table displays, wall art or usable anywhere else you need to add a touch of beauty. Wonder if there are any first editions in the collection?  

A few years ago talented local Quilter, Char Bailey made a special quilt honoring the quilts made in the 1930’s depression era, when sewing supplies were very limited and expensive.  This art uses vintage flour sacks that were a typical material for quilts in that period.

For all the sportsmen visiting the gallery there is an Eco Walleye on display.  I am sure many of us have seen discarded cans on the bottom of lakes and were dismayed at the litter, but if you saw a walleye made from old tin cans, that would be a treat.  Kathleen Munson and DeWayne Ehler collaborated on this beautiful fish sculpture created from old tin cans.

These photos show just some of what will treat you at this show. And if you are curious about the concept, and want go back a bit to try and figure out how this genre developed, you might be surprised at how many names and “origins” this art claims as part of its history. Names like Found Objects...objet trouvé, Dada, Ready Mades, Junk Art, Trash Art all are in its lineage. The above photo is one of the most famous recycled larger sized art made.  It is Carhenge near Alliance, Nebraska on the High Plains made by Jim Reinders and is a replica of England's Stonehenge done in grey painted cars. So far, nothing like this is at The Edge Gallery, or outside on the lawn, or in the parking lot, but who knows what might show up.

The gallery committee volunteers added a personal touch to this show.  Each of them created a letter in the show title using recycled materials.  They include braided rug, broken wine bottle and cork, packing material, licence plate, pine cones, moss, DVDs, and folded paper. Photo shown above.  Thank you so very much to the gallery committee for this creative colorful new show. So, come and visit anytime during the month of September to see what is on display for this first of its kind exhibit. Better yet, come to the opening reception this Friday September 6th and meet the artists who can be considered our founding Upcycle artists for letting the gallery share their special works with the communities.  

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