Sunday, July 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Environmentally-friendly art on display at EnviroHouse

Handbags and hats made from plastic bags, a clock made from an old record and bottle caps, people made from Wonder bread bags and sculptures from old books are just some of the many pieces of art which decorate the walls of the EnviroHouse, located at the Tacoma Landfill.

The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 21, features art made exclusively from materials that would have otherwise been disposed of.

The idea for the show came from one of the artists, Diane Kurzyna, who approached Bill Smith of Solid Waste Management for the city of Tacoma with the idea for an art show of this particular nature. A request was put out for artists and the show was created.

The exhibit features art from five artists, including Kurzyna, Holly Senn, Ruby the Resourceress, George Kurzman and Barbra De Pirro. All have worked with recycled materials in art before and have displayed their works at other venues.

Each has a different reason and inspiration for creating the recycled art.

â??I would say my inspiration has been my sons,â?? commented Kurzyna. â??They ate all the materials and I saved the wrappers. Itâ??s way of calling attention to over-consumption.â??

Others, like Senn and Kurzman, were inspired by the things they work with in their daily lives. Senn works at the Pacific Lutheran University Library and uses old discarded books in her art. Kurzman works with boats and builds furniture, and uses old boat scraps and wood from old houses in his artwork; he said that the materials themselves are his inspiration.

De Pirro said her work with plastic bags reflects forms in nature and the natural environment. De Pirro first began making her own large market bags out of smaller plastic grocery bags and then began making other objects, which reflect the shapes seen in nature.

All the artists support the idea the EnviroHouse is advocating, which is one of sustainability and reduction of waste. That idea was reflected in every piece of art on display, taking something most people would throw away and creating a unique piece of art.

â??Our environment is increa-singly defined by mass production,â?? noted Kurzman. â??By using recycled materials, itâ??s trying to highlight the connections with our past and our environment,â?? Â

Some of the art is wild and crazy, and other pieces make you stop and stare. One of the most memorable pieces is the handbag made from crocheted plastic bags; it is hard to believe it was previously plastic bags from the grocery store. Other pieces of special note are the painting of a tree with a canvas of old book pages, and a small piece hung on the wall made from wood, steel, cement, lead and various shades of acrylic.

For a great taste of funky, fresh artwork, be sure to see the art on display at the EnviroHouse and learn more about the goal of the EnviroHouse and the artists.