Recycled Show 2022

The Recycled Art Show has been inspiring environmental and artistic goals for Central Pennsylvania artists for 28 years. It is an opportunity for artists to express their concern for the environment and the importance of recycling programs like the one we are fortunate to have in Centre County. We invite artists to search their garages, basements, and attics and find interesting materials to create an entry for this exciting show! Entry to this show is not juried and is open to artists of all ages.

The theme for this year’s show was “Signposts: In which direction will your imagination take you?”

Sponsored by Joe Krentzman & Son, Inc., scrap metal recyclers since 1903, for 28 years and counting!

Sponsor's Remarks

What a pleasure it is to be together for an art show! In years past, that may have sounded pat, but today it is said sincerely, intentionally, quite happily. It is a great joy to be here and see friends and patrons of the arts together in a beautiful space for an inspired show.

It is a true honor of our family and our professional colleagues to sponsor the 2022 Recycled Show here at The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania. It is a fun way to blend what we do on a day to day basis—cutting, bailing, dismantling metal so it may be remelted and made into something new (recycling), with seeing objects differently. Finding beauty in what is normally discarded or reprocessed is an inspiring way to view the world. As a scrapman, it forces me to stop and really look at things that I normally hope to see processed and moved off site as quickly as possible.

“Signposts: In which direction will your imagination take you?” is a wonderfully fitting theme for this year’s show. Personally, I am fascinated by the creative process and how different artists in varying genres will approach and execute their creative process. Indeed, imagination is not limited to artists. Running a business, building one’s own career, pursuing higher ideals—all of these things require imagination at their root if they are to grow.

May we all be inspired by this show, embrace the desire to see beauty wherever we can, and may our imaginations take us far. Thank you for your patronage of arts in Central Pennsylvania.

-Michael J. Kentzman

Co-President, Joe Krentzman & Son, Inc.

Scrap Metal Recyclers since 1903

Juror

Peter Frantz

Peter Frantz attended the University of Notre Dame studying engineering before matriculating at Goddard College, earning a degree in design and social ecology/sustainability. He attained his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He has been a professional artist, writer, and educator his entire adult life. As a practicing artist, his three-dimensional art employs multiple man-made and natural materials in combination with video, light, and sound. He uses art as means of discovery of the authenticity of personal identity, the stories and myths that surround it, and our ability to use art in the cause of social justice.

Artists

Rick Avery

Scott Camazine

Amber Elsesser

Dotty Ford

Ruth Knowles

Donna Lawrence

Mark Messenger

Abby Minor

Rosie Myers-Finnegan

Erica Parsons

June Ramsay

Stacie Bird

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Materials used: cardboard boxes, scrap wood, rusted metal and wire, sand timer, scrap fabric, spray butter lids, plastic planters, old car lighter, magazines, covid mask, broken radio antennas, newspaper, broken yard spinner, artificial flower green wire, piece of my father’s key chain, back of a clip-on earring, egg carton, mini broken light bulbs, match pack, broken tanning goggles, wine cork, wooden clothespins, marble, paper clip

1st Place

Amber Elsesser / Up   $2500

“Up” has both verbal and symbolic references as to which direction one’s life takes.  Everyone seems immersed in trying to rise, go “up” in their lives, therefore the use of steps, “UP” signs, and various signage. There are steps that lead to nowhere and a ceiling that has a hole in it. There are barriers to so many. This piece focuses on non-verbal communication through observation and close examination by the viewers.

Juror's comments:

Boxes contain things. Someone puts something in a box, someone takes it out. These days we get so much by box. Maybe too much. We don’t hand things to each other or individual mail items as we used to, probably with a note. But there are lives all along the shipping line. There are those who select something to send, those who pack and ship and deliver, those that take it out. All have added history to each box. And the things we take out of the boxes—these can be items that we spend our lives with, and we keep forever.

This piece reuses the container that much of our lives come in to create an entire cardboard community. Amber creates “lives” and stacks them up and up and up. Vignettes, scenes, and empty spaces where one can wonder why it is empty and make up stories about it. Each box contains its own history and now those histories create a new community. A sort of colony was built; all sorts of histories accumulated, summoned together to a new journey and a new citizenry from recycled art.

2nd Place

Ruth Knowles / Crop Circles   $150

This is my recycled take on the movie “Signs!” but on a more serious note, I have seen the signs of man-made climate change in Central PA just since I was a child. Since then, our climate zone has increased from 4 to 5. Birds that once migrated south for the winter are staying here year-round and those that migrated here from Canada for the winter are now staying put. Many plants that didn’t over-winter here are now doing so. Climate change is no hoax!

Juror's comments:

Turmoil! The genesis of Ruth’s piece starts with the movie “Signs” and progresses into climate challenges. Particularly apt for the farms and mountains of Central PA. The changes she is highlighting are less catastrophic than having the ocean devour our homes, or droughts that last generations, but for all that they are devastating to the many creatures that we exist with in this land. While we may acquire new organisms to stay, we will most definitely lose some as well. 

My initial reaction to the art was that it appeared cyclonic and devastating to my eyes. How much of our lives exist in a spinning kind of never-ending motion these days? It is so easy to take any everyday action and easily view it through the lens of confusion, turbulence, uncertainty, even chaos.

There is little peace in the wider world, there may be even less in our own individual lives where all action is in dispute.

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Materials used: plastic mesh, approx. 11,500 twist ties

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Materials used: aluminum cans

3rd Place & Popular Vote Winner

Donna Lawrence / Aluminous Seaside   NFS

There are a multitude of items we use daily that get recycled. When I put items in the recycling bin I immediately think, what can I do with this to turn it into something useful or creative. When I see items, such as soda cans, I see colors, shapes, and textures and can use those elements as building blocks to create something completely new.

Aluminum cans these days come in an amazing palette of beautiful colors that inspires me to create landscapes. My love for the beach is where I am destined to go. The beauty of its environment is rich in color by nature and how wonderful it is to capture the beauty of the Aluminous Seaside from the rich colors of recyclable aluminum cans.

Juror's comments:

Mother ocean, what have we done? That was my first reaction. It was brought forth by the material. Aluminum cans, how many must litter the oceans? As an aside, I appreciate the artistic ability shown by Donna for this piece, as I am of the first and second prize winners, all the artists as it were. Never let it be said that craftsmanship is gone. If you cannot say what you want with your artistic vocabulary, then all you are doing is mumbling. This is not a time for artists to be mumbling.

Part of what I appreciate about this piece is its cohesive beauty, and the message embedded in it, made from cans that have been ripped to shreds. A destructive instinct that we can call “recycled,” but honestly, a kind of “take that” moment.

We have littered our oceans to a degree that we have put them under stress (along with heat, and chemicals, and toxins and . . .) to the point where, despite the very visible environmental assaults we have made on our world, the worst is likely one we can barely see. If we lose our oceans, we lose our world. That, at least, is not in dispute.

What I liked most about this piece is this beautiful, tin can renderings of one of the most iconic scenes in human history, geologic history, is fronted and put into peril by one of the most innocuous items on the planet, one that we have totally failed to reckon with. The can.

Honorable Mention

Scott Camazine / Locking Horns   $1500

We interact and interpret our environment through our senses. An observation produces a reaction, which for an artist may be the desire to capture and preserve
that experience as an instantiation.

It may be a click of the camera which crystallizes the observation in mimetic clarity. For others, the instantiation takes a different direction as a tangible constructive process involving transformation, exaggeration, mimesis and other techniques.

The creative process is a struggle, in which the interpretation generally falls short of the path in which my imagination leads.

Juror's comments:

I can only call this the Award for Audacity. It certainly cannot be ignored! There are so many items sticking out, warning you as you approach that if you stumble and fall into it, it will not be forgiving. Yet, like life, a dichotomy. So many pieces of this art are medical, and as it turns out, created by a surgeon. Therein lies the clue to its attractive nature (as only a mother ostrich might see her brood) but attractive it is.  

Somehow through the metal medusa hair appearance the medical life comes through, and while always for us that may bring concerns or memories of health struggles, it cannot help but bring along the doctor, a figure of hope.  

I would call this piece polarizing, but it is not really. It tries to startle but through the horns and skulls and medical devices and saw blades, it simply begs to be looked at with not a little wonder. And a smile.

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Materials used: walnut log, deer skulls, medical instruments, car rotor, hip prosthesis, cow horns, antique fire hose nozzle

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Materials used: recycled fabric

Honorable Mention

Erica Parsons / Hanging on by a Thread   NFS

In late March and early April of 2020, I was one of many volunteers that were sewing cloth masks at the start of the pandemic. I began sewing masks for friends, family, and former nurses I worked with and gave them away free. I then got involved with four different volunteer sewing groups and made over 500 masks for nursing homes across PA, the local community, and sent masks to Women In Need Shelters in New York City. I used fabric that I bought or was donated, fabric from my old scrub uniforms and even old cotton bed sheets. All of that has been upcycled into this work of art, including the canvas it’s on.

As an artist I typically work in drawing and painting, creating realistic works. The show’s theme has certainly inspired me to deviate from my normal style of art making with this piece and to venture into more abstraction. This piece is about letting my imagination lead me to a space that allowed me to be helpful to others through acts of service while also engaging in my own personal artistic practice. And imagining the impact that the pandemic has had on us all throughout the past two years and where we’re headed, with hope for the future. The theme’s question is one I would like viewers to ask themselves when looking at this piece and contemplating the context behind it.

Juror's comments:

This is both a very timely piece and one that contains an entirety of the human existence. How often has cloth been re-tasked? How many generations might recycle a single garment? Fabric, particularly that which has been worn by someone, seems to inherit history—it soaks it in and wears the years like jewelry. Wedding garments, school garments, birthdays, first dates, proms, christenings and on and on. What else can you find in your attic that brings your own and others history to your doorstep with such immediacy?

This piece starts with cloth and adds the pandemic, medicine and all the human emotions of the past few years into the piece.  

Fabric that was used and reused and turned into masks. A final, perhaps, permutation that is so closely tied to our own morality that in the past couple of years, masks have attended every human activity that exists. 

Honorable Mention

Dotty Ford / Altar of Consumerism   $150

We are bombarded daily with imagery that advertises products and services for us to purchase and consume. “Altar of Consumerism” can be a celebration of our consumerist lifestyle—or a criticism of it. Or both. It all depends on how the viewer interprets their piece. You are invited to choose a favorite “sign” from the chopping card and “post” it on the altar!

Juror's comments:

Boy, this is where it started, isn’t it? How we got ourselves into not only a climate mess, but a personal worth conundrum. Buy, buy, buy, possess, own, buy, reject, dump, trash, buy more. Do we even know what we are doing at times? Objects we buy begin to lose their allure and meaning and value. Like Dotty’s figure, so many little pieces. What do they all mean? Are they valuable? Were they ever? Do we remember why we bought them? 

The interactive part of this art is interesting. It would be fun to see how many people chose which card. Or maybe it really doesn’t matter. Ultimately, this piece made me wonder if given a fresh start without our lives literally being started as consumers-in-training, where we might end up? I think we can recognize worth without having to be told. I think humans truly appreciate above all else the intrinsic emotional content, the love built into, well, everything if we let it but it is difficult to find those things under the constant commercial bombardment that now seems so organic, but never really was.

Materials used: cast off yard angel, toys, keys, metal and wood pieces, computer parts, print media, paint, etc.

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Materials used: toilet tank fill valve, harp strings, nylon rope cutoffs, dental picks, more

Rick Avery / Show-fish-tank-aided

I have an inclination to keep things just in case I can use them to fix something useful but in this age of throwaway products what I can do is make something useless… so I did.

Scott Camazine / Dancing in the Wind   $2400

We interact and interpret our environment through our senses. An observation produces a reaction, which for an artist may be the desire to capture and preserve that experience as an instantiation.

It may be a click of the camera which crystallizes the observation in mimetic clarity. For others, the instantiation takes a different direction as a tangible constructive process involving transformation, exaggeration, mimesis, and other techniques.

The creative process is a struggle, in which the interpretation generally falls short of the path in which my imagination leads.

Click image for larger view.

Materials used: cardboard, pruned branches from Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avallena ‘Contorta’), roofing nails, medical hemostats, metal washer, paint

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Materials used: postage stamps, postcards, print media antique photograph, maps

Dotty Ford / Signed and Posted   $75

The written word was once the primary form of communication between two people who were separated by distance. “Signed and Posted” is  a tribute to all of the correspondents of long ago, now perhaps forgotten, who poured their hearts out in writing, signed the postcard or letter, and posted it in the morning mail.

Stacie Bird / Oсь, Путін (THIS WAY, PUTIN)   $50*

This piece was inspired by the incredibly brave and resourceful people of Ukraine. In response to Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of their country, they have found multiple ways to resist and defend themselves. Perhaps the most ingenious, yet simple, was to change all the directional road signs to indicate “where to go,” as seen below.

In my “invitation” to Putin I have included the colors of the Ukrainian flag (blue and gold) in addition to the sunflowers synonymous with Ukraine.

Slava Ukraini!

* Proceeds to World Central Kitchen

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Materials used: deconstructed clip frame, chocolate bar wrappers, scrap foam core, Parisian Baguette paper bag, scrap paper, acrylic paint, carpet tape

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Materials used: found paper, used Covid test sticks, postcard (of Viennese weaving), found wood

Abby Minor / THE EDGES   $100

“There are so many rocks and so many broken stones,” says the American artist Lonnie Holley, “and so many nails and sticks and weeds and debris and garbage and trash. We have to plow and mine the worst things on this earth to make them better, and to make us better, so we can show the world: I can handle it. I can deal with it. I can live with it. I can go on.” I wish somebody had saved all the pandemic plastic and we could have showed the world we could handle it, we could deal with it! Long live recycled art.

Mark Messenger / Burning Question   $225

Burning Question is a scorched head altered with added ears, suggesting that the world may not be listening to or seeing the signs of climate change.

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Materials used: Porcelain, copper, horsehair

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Materials used: Porcelain, copper, horsehair

Mark Messenger / TV Tattoo   $225

Tattoos are signifiers for many people that represent different things for different people. A past, a future, an important event, or just personal decorations, can help define the person or part of them. This can be their sign.

Abby Minor / Bird Time w/Alphonse Mucha’s The Lady of the Garnets   NFS

I like things that blur the line between art and craft / in the kitchen, in the workshop, at the sewing machine, in the studio. This is for a friend who recently bought an old house at auction; I saved the wallpaper scraps during demolition. The house looks out on a creek and soggy land, full of mullein stalks from last year. Mullein candles, migrations, equinox, solstice—in which direction will your imagination take you? Pull up a chair and a pair of binocs.

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Materials used: found wood, wallpaper, calendar, nails and washers, broken jewelry

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Materials used: materials from neighborhood recycle bins

Rosie Myers-Finnegan / Are we in too deep?   $24 (to be donated to charity)

In collaboration with Lilly Myers-Finnegan, Lisa Turner

“Are we in too deep?” As we gathered recyclables we thought, “Where does so much trash go?” We ended with “The ocean.” It is a favorite place, and we wondered, “will the creatures of the water eventually be replaced by plastic fish, string instead of coral, bubble wrap instead of tentacles, straws instead of seaweed??” The direction this theme pointed us in was: living in daily questions and solutions, the use of art to draw attention to a cause, and reminders to us of our impact. What do we want our oceans to look like? Definitely not what we created.

Erica Parsons / Tape Shoe   NFS

This piece is modeled from one of my old flip flops. The theme got me thinking about experimenting with the idea of using unconventional materials to create art while still staying true to my realistic style. Although I work more in drawing and painting and less in sculpture, I liked the idea of repurposing a material to create something new. In this case, the shoe fits and is actually wearable but I’m unsure exactly how durable it is. However, I had a lot of fun creating something a bit out of my comfort zone, imagining possibilities.

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Materials used: masking tape

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Materials used: leftover paint, scraps of wood, gifted rock

June Ramsay / Melting Earth   $65

With leftover paints from 3 paint parties, I painted this rock and a thought began to form. Signposts give us direction. The Earth is giving us direction. It’s screaming out that we are on the wrong path. “Melting Earth” represents the Earth melting away until it is unrecognizable. Other than paint, I used found raw materials, depicting the rawness of our own death and destruction.

 

Opening Night

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