Chico Creative Reuse taking art on the road – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — The trash you threw away last week might be a part of the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile art gallery, a local project made with entirely recycled materials.

Chico Creative Reuse is an organization run by seven artists who use recycled items in their art and who redistribute recycled supplies to the community.

Tatiana Allen gestures to her piece “Cathartes” at the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile Launch Reception in Chico, California on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024. (Molly Myers/Enterprise-Record)

“Chico Creative Reuse redirects materials away from the landfill and back into the community for making art, supporting artists and inspiring environmental stewardship,” according to the mission statement on its website.

Saturday, the organization launched the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile project, which will bring the art to locations around Butte County. Next weekend, the group will be in the parking lot of the Discovery Shoppe during the Chico Certified Farmers Market. The launch of the mobile project kicked off with an event at its facility, located at 633 Orange Street #3.

The project is funded in part by Upstate California Creative Corps and the California Arts Council. The latter gave the organization a grant of $80,000 for the mobile project, said resident artist Luann Manss.

Part of the project is to “inspire people to express themselves and to use things in different ways,” Manss said.

David Sutherland points to his art work with a paper towel roll at the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile Launch Reception in Chico, California on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024. (Molly Myers/Enterprise-Record)
David Sutherland points to his art work with a paper towel roll at the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile Launch Reception in Chico, California on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024. (Molly Myers/Enterprise-Record)

Kim Miller and her great-niece Chloe Rivera attended the launch and picked up art materials from the resource recovery section to use in their own arts and crafts.

“The people are really friendly and helpful,” Miller said, referring to the resident artists.

Mahjong pieces, bike chains, vintage clothes and plastic skeleton parts were used in various art pieces, among other numerous recycled materials.

The launch event hosted the following:

• An art gallery consisting of all recycled materials;

• An activities area where attendees could make their own upcycled art;

• A resource recovery area where attendees could take up to three items of donated art supplies, or contribute through supplies donation;

• An educational section where attendees could read about the organization and the impact of waste on the environment.

Artist Ron Toppi shows a chair he made out of old bicycle wheels and reused fabric to an attendee at the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile Launch Reception in Chico, California on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024. (Molly Myers/Enterprise-Record)
Artist Ron Toppi shows a chair he made out of old bicycle wheels and reused fabric to an attendee at the Chico Creative Reuse Mobile Launch Reception in Chico, California on Saturday Feb. 3, 2024. (Molly Myers/Enterprise-Record)

The educational section of the event consisted of posters made of recycled signs. One sign stated that the average American produces 4.9 pounds of trash every day.

“We have this system where we can throw things away and we don’t have to worry or think about it,” said resident artist Cameron Kelly.

It’s rewarding to create “shifts” in your life that reduce the amount of waste you create, Kelly said.

Three other artists at the event — Sierra Sunshine, Tatiana Allen and David Sutherland, who goes by “dragonboy” — said they especially like finding vintage or very old materials to work with.

Sunshine used one of her mothers vintage dresses for a piece.

 

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