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Ross Art Museum Features Eco-Friendly Exhibit
Display Part of Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium

September 22, 2008

Aurora Robson’s “What Goes Around Comes Around” is made of 9,000 recycled plastic bottles, along with rivets, tinted polycrylic, hardware, and aircraft cable.
Photo courtesy of Aurora Robson
Click here for a high resolution version. (1823k JPG)
Chakaia Booker wears an outfit she created using recycled materials. Her sculptures will be on display at the ‘Discarded to Distinctive’ exhibit.
Photo by Nelson Tejada
Chakaia Booker’s “Empty Seat” is made of rubber tires and steel.
Photo copyright Chakaia Booker, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York
DELAWARE, OHIO – Featuring recycled tires, plastic bottles, and even undergarments, the latest exhibit at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum transforms old items from “Discarded to Distinctive.”

The eco-friendly exhibition will be on display from Oct. 1 through Nov. 16 at the museum, 60 S. Sandusky St. The display is being held in conjunction with Ohio Wesleyan’s 2008-09 Sagan National Colloquium. Each year, the Colloquium examines an issue of global significance. This year’s topic is “Cultivating a Green Campus: Promoting Sustainability and Environmental Understanding on the OWU Campus and in the Delaware Community.”

“We have five artists who are all doing wonderful things with items that are easily overlooked,” said Tammy Wallace, first assistant for the museum and curator of the new exhibit. “These women have truly elevated their raw materials into unique, beautiful, sometimes amusing, and sometimes inspiring expressions of creativity. Ultimately, the goal is for everyone to re-think the items they toss into the trash and ask themselves: ‘Can this be recycled? Can this be reused? What could I turn this into?’ ”

Artists participating in the “Discarded to Distinctive” exhibit are:

  • Chakaia Booker. Based in New York, Booker uses recycled automobile tires and mats to create three-dimensional sculptures. Many of her designs resemble African masks.
  • Lyne Kearns. The New Zealand artist uses second-hand undergarments to make crocheted handbags. “For me, the whole process of collecting, sorting, deconstruction, and recreating is the Art Work,” Kearns said.
  • Hayley Muse Rupersburg. From Richmond, Va., Rupersburg creates vibrant jewelry using recycled plastic and glass. “A few years ago, intrigued with the possibilities of jewelry design, my imagination caught fire,” she said. “I became so overwhelmed with ideas, I couldn’t crank them out fast enough.”
  • Aurora Robson. The Brooklyn, N.Y., artist transforms plastic bottles into bright and airy pieces of art, keeping the bottles out of landfills. “My practice is ultimately about recognizing and embracing new possibilities and encouraging others to do the same,” Robson said.
  • Francesca Vitali. Recently transplanted from Southern California to Rochester, N.Y., Vitali is a chemist by day and a jewelry maker by night. “I started with simple paper beads. Later I developed new geometries, combining paper elements with other materials,” Vitali said. “Eventually I found my self transforming paper into [a] precious object, realizing that I’ve become an alchemist.”

Admission to the Richard M. Ross Art Museum is always free. The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Saturdays. It also will be closed Oct. 15-20 for Ohio Wesleyan’s mid-semester break. For more information, call (740) 368-3606.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.