TELLURIDE – A mountain of outdated samples ranging from naturally dyed silk swatches to cuts of recycled roofing to squares of cork flooring and glass tile filled the loft in EcoSpaces Green Building Design showroom in Lawson Hill.
But rather than throw it into the dumpster, EcoSpaces owners Daniel and Joanna Kanow decided to give the materials new life – as art.
And so they asked the arts community to pillage the pile of green building material extras, tapping into their creativity while doing something good for the environment.
The result is the Re-Purpose Art Show, happening today from 4-6 p.m. at the EcoSpaces showroom in Lawson Hill. There will also be a silent auction to raise money for the Telluride Schools’ art department to purchase more supplies to make art.
“One of the simplest and most effective steps one can do for the green movement, that is even more valuable than recycling, is re-using, or finding a new purpose for the item you no longer need, to transform it somehow into something that serves you,” says Joanna Kanow.
Middle school students in Abby Hamblin’s art classes had a heyday with the donated supplies, creating inspired keepsakes and functional art from EcoSpaces’ leftover samples. For example, Griffin Mueller crafted a knee-high dinosaur with tile mosaic spines, cork flooring feet and a carpet tail; Taylor Dahl fashioned an “Earth” trashcan out of recycled roofing, and other students painted wool carpet samples for re-use as floor mats and made birdhouses out of scraps of bamboo flooring.
Local artisan Kathleen Morgan created a colorful handbag with fabric samples. Other arts-and-crafters gathered leftovers, and while they may not have had enough time to finish their pieces for today’s show, the Kanows are thrilled that what could have been trash will now have the opportunity to serve a new purpose.
“People have gotten to play with these materials in ways you wouldn’t expect,” says Daniel Kanow, also a sculptor and painter created a reclaimed wood sculpture for the art show. “It’s been a good impetus to be creative and utilize these different kinds of materials.” He adds that he hopes the Re-Purpose Art Show can become an annual event, which can help spark creative inspiration while keeping functional materials out of landfills.
“We also wanted an excuse to throw a party to celebrate three years in business serving the community by supplying sustainable green building materials to architects, contractors and homeowners and new greener building in our area,” Joanna Kanow says of the RePurpose art show and silent auction.
Prizes from EcoCleaners, The Garden Store, Cindy Bread, China Rose, Tomboy Coffee Roasters, and Counter Culture will be awarded for most functional, most recycled, most original artwork, as well as other door prizes for those attending this reception. The RePurpose Art Show takes place Thursday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. at the EcoSpaces Green Building Design showroom in Lawson Hill Business Center. Call 970/728-1973 for more info.