2003 press release
ART FROM DETRITUS: RECYCLING WITH IMAGINATION
PO Box 1149 NY NY 10013-0866 TEL & FAX: 212 925 4419
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: 212 925 4419 An Exhibition of Art to Save the Planet
“more ART FROM DETRITUS:Recycling with Imagination”
Wall Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
445 West 59th St & 10th Av, New York, New York
(take “A”, “C” or 1/9 subway to 59th St/Columbus Circle & walk west 2 blocks)
April 28 to May 27, 2003
Opening reception Thursday, May 1, 5-7PM
Andrew Bailis * Beth Bailis * Fran Beallor * Jean Betancourt * Marcia Bernstein * Richard Brachman * Ursula Clark * Carol Cole * Angela Davies * D'Ann de Simone * May de Viney * Kiffi Diamond * Fred Gutzeit * Sandra Guze * Ed Herman * Cathy Hunter * Mary Frances Judge * Diane Kurzyna * Linda Lou * Garry Noland * Susan Newmark * James Nova * Stuart Nicholson * Michael Poast * Alan Rosner * Sura Ruth * Barbara K Schwartz * Susanna Stefanachi * Stephen S'Soreff * Helaine Soller * Shirley Smith * Marilyn Sontag & more
Curated by Vernita Nemec aka Vernita N'Cognita
John Jay College is pleased to again present “Art From Detritus: Recycling With Imagination”, an important exhibit of art of recycled materials and trash that would otherwise fill our landfills to overflowing. This is the third year that John Jay College has presented this important exhibit of Art from trash. Artists in this exhibit have taken fragments of discarded, found and recycled materials and creatively transformed them into painting, collage, sculpture and assemblage.
Since the beginning of time, artists have been creating art from the “detritus of life” for a host of reasons: the inherent beauty and accessibility of old and discarded artifacts, their spiritual significance and the cheapness of trash. Contemporary artists are also attracted to trash as a media for political, financial or purely aesthetic reasons. By using society's wastes as valid materials for their art, artists have given discarded substances new meaning. By using the abundant media of garbage to make their statement, these artists are using the power of their art to creatively communicate the importance of recycling to everyone who consumes & discards.
The Detritus exhibits initially were inspired in 1993 when N'Cognita (aka Vernita Nemec) attended her first Recycling Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. “When I asked where the art was, I was directed to a small table of art from milk cartons and similar trash that had been made by local elementary school children, “ says N'Cognita. “We all remember those first introductions to art making, but we forget that grown-up, professional artists working with collage & found objects, have transformed trash into fine art too”.
She proceeded to curate the first Detritus exhibit in Portland, Oregon in 1994, and since then, many have copied N'Cognita's idea. The original Detritus exhibits have been presented in Kansas City, Missouri; Phoenix, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, & in NYC at Henry Street Arts Center, Gallery 471 and now for the third year, at John Jay College's Wall Gallery.
Clifford Case, Founder of the National Recycling Coalition in D.C., has said, “The power of art is that it changes our perceptions of reality, making us see things with new eyes. It is particularly appropriate to welcome a show of art works made from reclaimed materials… because we as recyclers need this transforming power of art.” Dr. Jan Beyea, former Chief Scientist at the National Audubon Society in NYC and deeply involved with recycling says, “This exhibition is an important merging of artists and environmentalists, stimulating new ways to communicate the message of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
The “Art from Detritus” curator and founder, N'Cognita aka Vernita Nemec, artist, activist says, “my intention is to re-enforce in people's mind the value of recycled materials and help transform their view of garbage. Making art from trash is the ultimate level of recycling & reusing, for by using trash to make ART, we give both art and trash new meaning”.
Catalogs from past exhibits are available and provide a rich documentation of artists' statements and images.