Maryellen Hains Artist - Glass Fiber


Green Show Poster
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THE GREEN SHOW – Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse

Working with a GREEN point of view, seventeen Kalamazoo area artists have investigated how this might impact their work. Many have looked to found objects as a source of materials and inspiration. Others are recycling work that they created earlier in their career. Still others are inspired by objects found in nature.

There are a number of themes that echo in the exhibit.

Nature as inspiration and a source of materials can be seen in the collaborative pieces by Susan and Tom Rumsey. Tom works with spalted wood creating free-form shapes and bowls, while Susan uses recycled copper and sections from earlier paintings to overlay these images with references to leaves and vines. Randy Walker approaches nature from a different perspective – aerial view – in his mixed media painting of a leaf in flight. Here he uses bits and pieces from earlier work, his scrap pile and recycled paper to create layers of texture and fragmented imagery.

Another artist using recycled paper is Gretchen Huggett. She repurposed the thin tissue-paper patterns that dressmakers used in the 50s – 60s – 70s . . . Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick . . . and spun them into "yarn" which she then wove into a small purse with a knitted flap. While the purse looks delicate, it is surprisingly strong.

Kara Aubin and Daniel Juzwiak's pieces for this exhibit are transformative in nature. Fine jewelry pieces that have been part of the clients' heritage or family have been deconstructed and reinvisioned for a new generation and a new aesthetic. Too, they ask the viewer to rethink "what is precious" as they move work from traditional fine metals to materials that have industrial applications.

Throwaway materials are the resources for several of the sculptors in this exhibit. Things of Steel collage metal, ceramic and wood in their pieces. Pat Ex repurposes scrap yard metal in her yard ornaments. Liz and Vince Faust created a world of anthropomorphic people.

Bobbie Peter's jewelry celebrates Christmas lights or shotgun shells or computer boards. Working with tiny jewels and precious metals, she takes on the mundane and repurposes them into unique miniatures.

For some artists, celebrating the materials takes on a precious role. It is very important to Elizabeth King that the bits and pieces she draws together are respected. The sources of her threads or charms need to be mentioned and she would like us to note that they came from a soldier's uniform or robin's nest. For Paul Mergen, it is often his personal life experiences with the materials that hold importance – nails that were pulled form his 19th century home while he was dong renovations or a plastic spoon from a fast food chain during a family vacation.

Each of these artists has a personal, point-of-view or voice that is unique and intriguing. I hope you will be able to spend a few minutes exploring the creative spirit of these works. Some pieces have taken "worthless" materials and made them "fine." Some works have a strong echo of family history or heritage. They may ask us to rethink what is important. Some works ask the viewer to rethink objects we take for granted. Some are playful. Some are serious. Some are bold and some are subtle. All are worthy of our thoughtful consideration.

Invited Artists: Amy Culp, Bobbie Peters, KaraDaniel Jewelry, Things of Steel, Liz Faust, Vince Faust, Michael Dunn, Paul Mergen, Randy Walker, Susan Rumsey, Tom Rumsey, Gretchen Huggett, Planet Steve, Dave Curl, Elizabeth King, Pat Ex.

Maryellen Hains, Curator