May 28, 2011

NW Reuse Art Highlights

The ReStore, a Washington nonprofit that resells used building materials, hosts both a trash fashion show (see our post from the 2010 show in Seattle) and a creative reuse art exhibition in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington each year. Here are some highlights from the 2011 art show:

Andrew Hamill's "Cup Installation" in Bellingham.

Basket by Miriam Gray in Seattle.

Michelle de la Vega in Seattle. Image by Ruby Reusable.

Portland's Recology transfer station, an operator for Metro, has initiated a new program, inspired by the success of Recology San Francisco's Artist-In-Residence program. The Pacific Northwest Art Program is a collaborative effort of Metro, Recology and Cracked Pots. A panel of arts and environmental professionals have selected five artists to turn trash to art, by recovering discarded materials in one of our city's "dumps" and transforming them into new creations. The artists have six months to collect their goods, and will present their work in September this year. Learn more on the Cracked Pots website.

Christina Mazza and Erik Otto at San Francisco's Recology exhibit of their work.
See more Recology artists in residence.

Other local organizations regularly exhibit reuse art in a variety of materials. ReDux, a boutique on Burnside that features environmentally conscious arts & crafts, is currently showing Greg Brendon elephantthe work of artist Greg Brenden. Brenden transforms empty plastic milk jugs into fun and familiar animal forms, like chickens and bugs.

SCRAP Creative Reuse Center, in NE Portland, has a gallery devoted to art made from at least 75% reused or reclaimed materials. SCRAP's Re:Vision Gallery emphasizes the variety in materials and the innovative work of artists in the reuse field. Re:Vision Gallery will host twelve fiber artists in July and August.

Images: (left) Greg Brenden, (right) Amy Conway, "Big Pink."

May 26, 2011

Sensual Fibers at Blackfish Gallery

Walking along NW 9th Ave. in the Pearl, it's hard to miss the sensual and delicate work provocatively displayed in the window of Blackfish Gallery. Sally Hayden Gilmore's sculptural pieces are funny in an innocent way, and yet complicated in an evolutionary biology kind-of-way, like a flora-fauna creature from a fantastical and colorful world.

Her work is a playful interpretation of sexuality, but, as Gilmore expresses it, "not in terms of political correctness or social structures, but as the natural world knows it: a wondrous force too powerful and beautiful to ignore." With bulbous protrusions and soft, feathery patterns, Gilmore evokes the ways that nature seduces itself.
The window beckons the visitor to come inside in hopes of seeing more of Sally Hayden Gilmore's work, and perhaps getting closer to it without the glass cooling and distancing the warmth and gentleness of the fibers. But alas, Gilmore is a guest artist and this teaser of her work is all we get. Perhaps we will see more of this Portlander's work in the near future.

Blackfish Gallery (420 NW 9th Avenue) is a cooperative gallery run by thirty artist members, who show in the space throughout the year. The gallery also offers one of its external exhibition windows along 9th Avenue, "Fishbowl 2," for the work of guest artists. There is an ongoing open call to artists for submissions for the Blackfish Window Project. Blackfish Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

Both images are from Sally Hayden Gilmore's website, where you can see much more of her work.
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