Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Carbon Neutral: Waste Not, Want Not

Tomorrow-- April 22-- is Earth Day. It's one day a year when some of us think about the Earth, what humankind is doing to it, and how to ameliorate the impact of civilization on our environment. We used to manufacture goods in the US, but we have become a country of debit-ridden consumers. Waste and hyper-consumerism have been taking a toll on our environment for decades. Now, our current economic crisis has brought to light the folly of our wasteful, short-term, profit-oriented, consumer-driven lifestyle. Maybe this crisis is a good thing? As a country, maybe we needed a womp upside the head to wake us up?

To celebrate Earth Day and demonstrate art can be created from items that most people would discard as junk, Dinnerware Artspace is hosting the Carbon Neutral exhibit.

I have submitted a few pieces for this show:
- Lighting the Way (above) is a sculpture made from discarded solar tubes (from my home remodel in 2007), shapely Trader Joe's soup cans, and LED light rope.

- Re-cycle is a mobile made from bicycle parts and other seemingly useless metal do-dads.

- Tiles of Tiles (below) is a three part tile piece made from discarded porcelain, terracotta, and natural stone floor tiles. It can be used as a trivet or a table top, or it can be mortared into a wall or floor.

- Last but not least is a quilt that I made from old blue jeans. With a blue jean top and a flannel remnant backing, this is by far the warmest quilt I've ever made.

The opening artists' reception for Carbon Neutral is Wednesday, 5-8 p.m., and the show runs through Saturday, April 25. I guarantee the show will open your eyes to new uses of items you may be discarding.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Downtown: The Same Story But Not the Same OLD Story

Downtown will be hopping tomorrow night, with many galleries will be open for the Central Tucson Gallery Association's First Saturday event.

Here are a few gallery highlights for Saturday evening, April 4.

The Same Story opens at the Central Arts Gallery, on Congress St., tomorrow with an artists' reception from 6-9 p.m. I have three threesomes (photos, not performance art pieces-- tee hee) in this show: Wild Thing, I Think You Move Me is dance in motion; Caution: Drummers warns of the perils of dating drummers; and Downtown is a funky tribute to downtown Tucson.

I peeked at the show before it was hung, and there is a wide range of art, as usual. A few artists have chosen this theme to make political statements. Carlos Encinas' Dollar Store Art display presents a sarcastic view of the cheap-is-good mentality. Patrick McCardle's portrait of President Obama being threatened by a snarling bulldog is thought-provoking when you consider the pervasive in-fighting in Washington, DC. The Central Arts Gallery show will also feature an art raffle.

Pollos de Pueblo continues at Dinnerware Artspace on Congress St.. If you were too cheap to pay $5 to see the chickens last Saturday, you can check out this fun show for free on April 4, the closing day. This is a fun show with many eclectic interpretations of the theme.

Fuerte continues at Raices Taller 222, on 6th Street. This show commemorates Cesar Chavez's birthday, which was March 31. The Raices event starts at 5 p.m. with a "Pay the Rent" potluck.

Many of Tucson's galleries are struggling to keep their doors open these days. Please help Tucson's artists keep our art scene alive by buying art, attending events that request a modest entry fee, or simply throwing a few bucks in a donation jar. Every little bit helps.

This is only a small sample of exhibits that will be open. I hope you will take a stroll downtown-- along Congress and 6th Streets-- to enjoy our lovely spring weather and Tucson's vibrant art scene.