Make Art, Not Trash

This weekend was jammed packed with traveling, volunteering and setting up apartments. Friday “Builder Bob,” and I headed to Portland for a day of shopping at Scrap where I picked up a few more goodies for my art, Collage on Alberta Street for more mica for my translucent pieces, and The Rebuilding Center to find legs for the two tables Bob is building for our two sons’ college apartments. This is such a fun place to explore. Every conceivable part of a home (and more!) that can be reused is brought here, dismantled, categorized and grouped together. I found two old air masks, various other old ephemera, bolts, and could have stayed there for hours. Wish we had one this big and this organized in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Oh, and Bob bought a new tool at Sears, too (no sales tax in Portland, a bonus for Washingtonians).

We also jammed in a quick visit to my friend, Michelle Allen’s home for a little nosh before the big event, the real reason we were in Portland–meeting Greg Hanson and seeing his work at the opening of the Glean exhibit at Disjecta. I’m so glad that Bob was able to see Michelle’s beautiful home and most of all her studio so that he can understand how big of a studio I would like next. Thanks, Michelle! You can read more about Michelle on her blog and see her studio that was show in Artful Blogging here.

Greg Hanson and Kathie Vezzani at Glean Opening at Disjecta, Portland, OR
Photo by Michelle Allen

We left Michelle’s house early because I had arranged to meet Greg before the show started. I read Greg’s more than 100 blog posts about his 7 month project and was inspired by some of his findings. He generously brought me three foosball players to use in one of my assemblage pieces and offered me first dibs on four boxes of leftover gleanings in the back of his car. What a gift! You can see more pictures of the exhibits and all of his wonderful pieces on his blog. And, yes, he is as nice as he appears to be on his videos.

The exhibit was fantastic and if you live in the area, I highly recommend you go see what these five artists made from discarded refuge. Here’s an example of what Jennifer LaMastra made from spoons, rubber tires, and springs from, I am guessing, a couch or chair. Her work was imaginative, innovative and, according to the models, wearable.

Jen LaMastra Designs
Created by Jen LaMastra Designs for Glean Project
Photo by Michelle Allen

Here is a full picture taken by Greg before the model donned the piece for the show.

Glean is a collaboration between Recology, Metro and Cracked Pots that seeks to educate the public about recycling and resource conservation while supporting the local art community and diverting material from landfills. The program was based on a similar one from the San Francisco Bay area that has been running for over 20 years, according to Amy Wilson, who managed the project in Portland. She was a big reason why the project was able to come together. The five initial artists in the Portland program are Andrew Auble, Chandra Glaeseman, Greg Hanson, Jennifer LaMastra and Sarah Wolf Newlands. Each of these artists has shown locally and nationally.

Disjecta is located is 8371 N. Interstate Avenue in Portland. Open Thursday-Sunday from 12-6 p.m. Founded in 2000, Disjecta provided one of the first spaces in the city presenting both performing and visual arts. This exhibit will be showing until September 30.

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