It’s been said that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” But OKC Beautiful is determined to show that all of our trash could be transformed into real treasures … of art.
OKC Beautiful’s A.R.T. Show: Art in Recycled Trash opened last week at Science Museum Oklahoma. Because last year’s A.R.T. Show proved so successful, the local nonprofit couldn’t help but expand the project.
“Last year, we found out about America Recycles Day, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to bringing awareness to recycling. To celebrate, we thought of this great idea of having a recycled art show,” said Lauren Dennison, OKC Beautiful marketing and events manager. “We had about 26 pieces, and they were all from Oklahoma City metro students.”
This year, the partnership with Science Museum Oklahoma led to not only more entries from area students, but numerous local artists as well.
“By incorporating the Oklahoma City artists, we hope to reach a broader audience,” Dennison said. “We’ve had a lot of people say they’re really excited to see the art people have created.”
She said that it’s “really cool” to see the end result, because all 50 pieces in the exhibition are made from 75 percent recycled materials.
“We’ve got things made from Coke bottles, bicycle tires, old fences — lots of different things. These are things that you normally throw away,” Dennison said. “You can get all these really great ideas for using two-liter bottles, instead of throwing them away.”
For example, she said, empty two-liter bottles can be used as planters, while old bicycle tubes and tires can be turned into purses.
“We have some of those,” she said. “There’s even a chair made out of dryer sheets that smells great, and it’s awesome to see what you can do with even dryer sheets.”
As fun as it is to see such common household items turned into aesthetically pleasing works of art, it’s become a constant source of environmental inspiration for Dennison. She hopes that it will do the same for visitors to the show, which runs through Feb. 15, 2013.
“Working at Oklahoma City Beautiful has opened my eyes to recycling and sustainability, and how important it is for all of us to know that message. By having the A.R.T. Show, and being able to share with other people about it, it has really impacted me. I look at things with a different perspective now,” she said.
It’s because of this newfound awareness that she wants the A.R.T. Show to continue to grow and thrive in Oklahoma City.
“Everything we do at OKC Beautiful is dedicated to improving the city and making it a better place to live,” Dennison said. “We’re going to try and make this an annual event so we can continue to grow awareness about recycling and upcycling, and just show Oklahoma City what cool things you could do with things you’d just normally throw away.”