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This page lists sites, exhibitions, books, etc., of artists working with recyclable and reused materials.  Please feel free to add comments with additional resources fitting this category.


Bryan Jungen: Strange Comfort will be at the National Museum of the American Indian through August 8, 2010.  Jungen uses mass-produced goods to make extraordinary sculptures. Plastic chairs—hacked apart but still undeniably chairs—become a whale skeleton. Expensive sneakers become Northwest Coast masks. Golf bags become totems. Jungen charges ordinary, useful objects with layers of meaning, exploring and transgressing the boundaries of what they had been and what they’ve become, riffing on Indian imagery, pop culture, consumerism, and obsession in the process. For the purposes of this blog, unfortunate that the materials are, once again, not recycled, but they are definitely transformed to something way beyond their original purpose.  A stunning show.

Recycled as Art at Marymount University’s Barry Art Gallery in Arlington, VA, runs through December 3, 2009. It features the work incorporating used and recycled materials by four artists:

Heidi Fowler‘s work stems from an appreciation and respect for nature. She incorporates the use of eco-friendly art supplies, recycled everyday objects like junk mail, and other “found” elements.  Ed Gross‘s sculptures are marked by his signature use of old farm implements, which he juxtaposes with textiles, modern machine parts, and occasionally wood to create art that enhances the beauty of both the old and the new.  Donna McCullough uses fashion to illustrate her artistic vision. Her dress designs are crafted of steel and embellished with flourishes of wire mesh, screening, cut-outs, and bits of found objects — making the sculptured dresses both elegant and imposing.  Sabyna Sterrett‘s art reflects the world around her and, like the work of her fellow artists in the exhibit, juxtaposes the old with the new. In some of her more recent work, she has incorporated plastic and organic materials which show their age.


Hansson, Bobby.  The Fine Art of the Tin Can: Techniques and Inspirations. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 2004 (rev.)

Le Van, Marthe.  Fabulous Jewelry from Found Objects: Creative Projects, Simple Techniques.  Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 2005

Spencer, Dorothy. Found Object Art. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2002

Tymony, Cy. Sneakiest Uses for Everyday Objects. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2007 – Also, Sneaky Uses… and Sneakier Uses… by the same author.  Fun projects for the scientists, experimenter, hoarder, fidgeter in you.

LaFosse, Michael G. and Richard L. Alexander. Trash Origami Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2010 – A great place to start if you need a nudge for the Nov/Dec 2010 Wrappers/Packing challenge. Beautiful and sometimes simple ways to reuse anything from wrapping paper to potato chip bags.


Drapart is an annual festival of recycled art held in Barcelona.  This year, it runs from December 17, 2009, through January 10, 2010.  This link is to a site written in Spanish, I am searching for some English-language info about it…

Based out of Philadelphia, PA, Green Treks includes a monthly online publication Rough Terrain, sometimes featuring artists using found objects and recycled materials.

Imagination Factory is a child-oriented site with projects that use recycled materials.  Their Trash Matcher is an interesting place to start when thinking about what to do with your trash besides throwing it away.



Tara Donovan’s sculpture is truly amazing.  Her expression of the sculptural possibilities of familiar and common materials is phenomenal.   While she does not always use recyclable materials and appears to use new materials for her work, her sculptures and installations are an excellent example of our artistic goal in this blog – reaching past the common perception of a material’s uses and appearance and stretching to something beyond; creating forms that are fascinating in their own right, and then even more intriguing when the basic building materials are known.  Ms. Donovan was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008.


Thanks to Jeanne Heifetz for sending in this YouTube link to a piece about NY weaver  Suzanne Tick reusing hangers and plastic bags from the drycleaners.  Wonder what she does with the samples once they’re scanned…


On September 9, 2009, over 100 embellished radiation masks were put up for auction at a gala event at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC.  The masks had been donated post-treatment by patients and clinics in the DC area and were decorated and re-donated by the artists to raise money for the auction, supporting the non-profit 9114HNC fund to go toward funding treatment for head and neck cancer patients who don’t have health insurance and/or can’t afford their treatment.  The auction sold more than half of the masks and raise over $30,000 for the cause.  All remaining masks are still available for purchase to support the fund.
Some of the remaining masks are on display at the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC.
Please visit the site to see images of the amazing masks and learn more about the project.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yolanda permalink
    January 17, 2011 8:22 pm

    I found an English language link for you for the Drapart. It is:

    This is a great page, thanks for all this information.


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