Monday, August 31, 2009

Landfill Art

I have always had an interest in recycling, reusing and re-purposing especially as related to art. As an elementary art teacher our big project every year was our recycled art week. The kids could make all kinds of creations only using "trash" I washed and saved EVERYTHING all year just for this project. I taught between 600-1200 students per year, so we needed a lot of stuff. My family was very patient as our garage would slowly start filling every year and then the week of Earth Day in April- all would magically disappear to be turned into art! The only things used that were not recycled were masking tape and hot glue. It was always the activity most looked forward to. Many a recycler was born during this process. In fact I had parents complaining to me that after that week, that their children kept pulling things out of the trash, saying "no, you can't throw that away!"

My artist friends Marianne and Nancy happened to be re-purposing hubcaps for this project that was started in PA at the studio back in the winter. I was pretty busy at the time and thought I would pass on it. But then as I had more time, I thought why not?

And so it is that I have come to be involved in the landfill art project with my piece on consumer consumption and all the junk we buy for our kids that doesn't make them any happier because in the end it is all about human relationships and not stuff.

I finally found a box to mail it back in and will be doing so this week.

The information below was copied from

Landfillart is an international effort encompassing one-thousand-forty-one (1,041) artists to claim a piece of rusted metal garbage and create fine art.

The 1,041 pieces of rusted metal are actually old automobile hub caps from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Each hub cap, after being cleaned and primed, is affectionately called a “metal canvas.” Although most “metal canvases” have been transformed by the artist using oil or acrylic paint, some have been weaved on, glued or screwed or welded to, or made into fine sculpture.

I have found that the fine artists I have worked with on this project do not even flinch when looking at this white round disc of metal canvas. And why should they. Artists from the beginning of time have used cave walls (Lascaux, France and Altamira, Spain,) walls of pyramids (Egyptians,) animal skins (American Indians,) etc… as their canvas. In addition, as a gallery owner for over thirty years, I maintain that artists, generally speaking, are more ecologically in touch and environmentally aware. Perhaps that is the reason forty-one artists readily accepted the challenge and embraced the project.

Although the project is in its infancy (I hope to have it completed by 2012,) it will evolve from a simple idea of taking forty-one old rusted hub caps and creating forty-one pieces of great art. The second phase has already started with the acquisition of one thousand additional (1000) rusted hub caps which will be turned into cleaned and primed “metal canvases. The project will continue with finding one thousand (1000) talented artists who believe in this project.

The third phase will involve publishing a book on the project showcasing all one thousand forty one (1,041) completed “metal canvases.”

The fourth and final phase will involve choosing 200 metal canvases that adequately represent the project and create a traveling show. The book and traveling show will publicly portray the global art community's effort to positively impact the environment through re-purposing previous metal waste into great landfillart.

1 comment:

queenopearls said...

Stunning! Love your palette hub cap and the whole project as well. Thank/Bless you for the link and inspiration.
West of Cleveland, OH