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Trash to treasure
Reincarnated: exhibit incorporates reused, found and collected items

Twelve local artists in Savannah have discovered a new place to find treasure: in your garbage. “Reincarnated: Art Showcasing Reduce, Reuse & Recycle,” will showcase their works, which contain found art or recycled materials as a creative way to cut down on waste.

Presented by the City of Savannah Sanitation Bureau’s Recycling Complex, Reincarnated will feature such diverse works as shoes fashioned out of rubber tires, handbags and frames fashioned out of National Geographic magazines, mosaics made from sea glass, and sculptures made from old computer parts.

Anne Robinson, outreach coordinator for the Recyling Complex and organizer of the show, says, “Usually when people think about recycling, they only think of it in terms of the active recycling, they don’t think about the first two principles in the waste hierarchy system, which is reduction (limiting and minimizing your consumption) and reuse. When I got these artists together, it was really to drive home the point that reuse is such an important part of that hierarchy and that we really need to think about reduction and reuse before we even consider recycling.”

The artists, which include Maria Johns Brown, Danielle DeMasi, Kristie Duncan, Liz Guri, Paschal Ford, Kelly Goode, Chris Harris, Lind Hollingsworth, David Kelley, Brian MacGregor, Jan Clayton Pagratis and Christopher Schell, met for six months to exchange ideas and materials.

Lind Hollingsworth remarks, “I thought it was an exciting proposition, because it’s always nice when you are given certain boundaries to work in. I tried to be a purist about it and only use recyclable materials.”

Pagratis created her first paint chip collage when she was 10 years old. She states that her journey into the world of recycled art began when she couldn’t throw away any more paint.

Brian MacGregor incorporates reused, found and collected items, including “dreams” written in various languages on various types of paper.

His favorite part about the project is “the response from people seeing it and thinking, say if they’ve got bottles or something, ‘Oh, I can put those in my window and make a display,’ just redefining their trash, looking at it and realizing that there are so many more materials that they could find different uses for. The possibilities are endless.”

Robinson would like to expand it into a festival in the future. “It really depends on the amount of interest we get,” she says, “not just from citizens, but from other artists. I feel that there are still a lot of possibilities.”

Liz Guri says, “Hopefully before people throw away functional pieces, they’ll think, “What can I do before I get rid of it?” Whether it be a chair, or a table, any kind of furniture in the house. You see so much waste. Maybe they’ll just try moving it around instead of getting rid of it.”

Robinson says, “We’ve got coffee filters, we’ve got bottle caps, we’ve got plastic rubber tires, magazine. I’m excited for everybody to see what they can do with their trash, that they can reconsider their trash, look at it again and consider the possibilities instead of just throwing it out.”

Reincarnated. Where: Gallery S.P.A.C.E., 9 W. Henry St. When: Runs through May 27.