In one year, Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash!
That’s a lot of garbage.
Landfills take in the bulk of that rubbish, since only about 34 percent of our waste is recycled. But landfills have their detractors; they are unsightly, to say the least.
Ingeniously, a number of local artists have found a viable alternative. They have heroically incorporated discards into their artwork, giving new life to castoffs.
In “Refuse to Destroy”, the current exhibit at the Cella Gallery in NoHo, 18 featured artists have demonstrated their resourcefulness within an array of sculptures, paintings, assemblages, interactive installations, and mixed media art pieces. As well, ten additional artists are showcasing and selling their functional art, demonstrating how recyclables can be transformed for practical purposes. (All functional art will be priced at $50 or less.)
“Refuse to Destroy” is presented by 11:11 A Creative Collective of artists located in the San Fernando Valley. With Addy Gonzalez, Erin Stone, Matthew Plotkin and Kevin Taylor at the organization’s helm, the collective was established with a clear mission: “To help the San Fernando Valley become a strong and independent artistic community that will develop as a thriving and accessible destination for those seeking an innovative and unique artistic experience.”
Turning trash into art is innovative, indeed, feeding the imagination rather than those dastardly landfills and threatening garbage patches.
(Cella Gallery is located at 11135 Weddington St. (Suite #112) North Hollywood, CA 91601. “Refuse to Destroy” continues through April 6th. Regular gallery hours are: Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment.)
Artwork by Michael Culhane
Los Angeles artist Michael Culhane gives new life and purpose to film reels, using inspiration and insight he’s acquired from working in the movie industry for twenty-five years. Referring to his artwork as kinetic, Culhane utilizes natural elements, such as wind and water, to create movement and energy in his sculptures. In addition to his art pieces in private collections, some of Culhane’s public art can be viewed throughout Hollywood, amongst other locations. An accomplished metalworker, he says copper is his favorite material, as its ever-changing patina intrigues him.
“Willow Blossom Muertita”
Willow Blossom Muertita is one in a series of sculptures created by artist Krisztianna. Using a variety of materials, including styrofoam, paper mache, wire, wood, clay, twine and screws, to name a few, Krisztianna has created her elegant skulls with reference to a series of imaged-based stories that she is in the process of writing. Accepting that death is all around us, she’s focused on bringing her characters to life–albeit these elementals, as she calls them, are “undead”, still possessing a type of “half-life”. While awaiting the completion of her fanciful, supernatural tales, fans can keep busy enjoying her “Creatures of Legend” and “Mer-Kingdom” coloring books.
Artworks by Shane Reilly
Sculptor Shane Reilly is particularly interested in using found items in his artwork. Whether using items he’s discovered after they’ve washed up on shore, or old discards strewn about in junkyards, Reilly finds new ways to use old things. In his Monolith series Reilly incorporates parts of old machines, including cranes and forklifts. It’s his way of creating something organic using technological waste.
Dolls by Marsha Perloff
Found items always brighten up artist Marsha Perloff’s day! In these clever creations, Perloff used old graters for her babies’ bodies. On her adventurous expeditions to garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets, Perloff eagerly hunts down items she can salvage and give new identities. After a successful Hollywood career in costuming, these days, Perloff divides her time between making art and running Devil Dog Ranch, her Tujunga-based dog rescue and dog training operation. Reclamation seems to be the name of her game!