Turning Trash Into Works of Art – ArtPrize 2011

Turning Trash Into Works of Art

Instead of being busy blogging this week, I have instead been busy enjoying a wonderful event that happens this time of year in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan called ArtPrize.  Over 1,000 artists submit their works of art for display around our downtown area for voting. The top 10 artists receive a prize and the artist that receives the most votes wins the top prize of $250,000.

I just love this event. It’s so much fun to wander around the city and see all sorts of sculptures and paintings. There’s no cost to walk around and look and it’s a wonderful way to spend a fall afternoon or evening. I wouldn’t miss it.

Some of my favorite works of art this year were made with recycled and re-purposed materials. I found this to be very inspiring and decided to share a few pictures.

This entry by artist Libby Hodges was titled “Thousand Suns” and was a field of sunflowers made from old castoff water bottles. They looked so cute all together and you would never think they were made from water bottles. In fact, I’m going to try making these myself at home and see how they turn out. I snapped a picture of their table showing how to make one to help me remember. I think I can do it!!

Update: I made one! Click here for sunflower instructions

Artprize 2011
Artprize 2011 Sunflowers from water bottles

This sculpture is testament to the power of lots of little things adding up to something much bigger. Thousands of encyclopedia pages were put together to make these tree-like sculptures, some of which went from the floor to the ceiling.

Artprize 2011

Artist Bill Secunda used the steel from a 100 year old railroad tanker car to create his 20 foot tall sculpture of a praying mantis titled “Mantis Dreaming”. I’m amazed at the talent some folks have to be able to see the potential of what looks like just an old rusty railroad car to the rest of us and turn it into such a cool piece of artwork.

Artprize 2011 praying mantis sculpture

I think the king of recycling has to be artist Terry Brennan who calls himself the Dumpster Diver. His sculptures were made of everything from soup to nuts. His sign said you may find such things as a hula hoop, a shower attachment, Christmas ornaments, sandals, a car seat, snow sled, and a fireman’s helmet to just name a few. He used this assortment of junk to make funky fish sculptures.

Artprize 2011

So if you have any opportunity to be in Grand Rapids, Michigan in late September or early October, be sure to visit ArtPrize. I know you’ll love it as much as I do!

Need a few more bright ideas?
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