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Indepth Arts News:

"Trashformations East: 112 Artists Create with Trash"
2006-01-20 until 2006-05-07
COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and The Arts
Napa, CA, USA United States of America

East coast trash is heading west. Trashformations East, Fuller Craft Museum’s exhibition about the art of recycling, is traveling to COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & The Arts in Napa, California where it will be on exhibit January 20 – May 7, 2006. After its stay in wine country, Trashformations will travel to Amish country where it will be on exhibit September 16 – October 29, 2006 at the Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Fuller Craft Museum exhibition Trashformations East features work by 112 artists who take New England thrift to a new extreme. Curated by Lloyd Herman, founding director of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Trashformations East features works by east coast artists who use found objects and recycled materials in unique ways.

These craft artists find creative uses for other people’s trash, making lingerie out of soda cans, jewelry from expired coupons, a necklace of gun triggers, and furniture out of everything from skis to lawn mowers. These inventive and witty works of art, with underlying themes of recycling and environmentalism, have made the exhibition tremendously popular.

Trashformations East opened at Fuller Craft Museum in January 2005 with a reception attended by over 1,000 people. Since then attendance at the Museum has steadily risen, prompting Fuller Craft Director Gretchen Keyworth to hold over the exhibition through the summer. She attributes the appeal of Trashformations East, in part, to the artists’ use of ordinary materials in extraordinary ways. “Part of the fun of Trashformations is that it raises many questions—What is this made of? How did they do this? Is this art? And it is that moment—the ‘ah ha’ moment—that excites us when we recognize something familiar,” says Keyworth.

After its successful eight month run, other museums have been eager to share Trashformations East with their own patrons. COPIA and Lancaster Museum of Art are fitting venues for this exhibition as both museums show exhibitions of unusual craft alongside fine art. Founded by vinter Robert Mondavi, along with a board of Honorary Trustees including Julia Child and Martha Stewart, COPIA is a non-profit museum devoted to exploring the interrelationships of food, wine and the arts. Lancaster Museum of Art is a contemporary art museum showing work by local, national and international artists. Blurring the distinction between art and craft, the both museums often feature exhibitions of textiles, ceramics, sculpture and found object art in addition to photography, paintings and prints. With works like a raspberry tart made from scrap metal, a lamp made from recycled utensils, sculpture made from cereal boxes, and a teapot made from teabags, Trashformations has a lot to offer visitors across the nation.

Donna Rhae Marder
Stellita Sewn Mexican oilcloth, mylar
photo: Dean Powell

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