It’s been said that ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ These environmentally-friendly local artists are not only helping to make the world a bit more interesting with their works of art, but they’re also helping to do their part to keep the Earth beautiful by practicing the three green Rs: Reduce, reuse and recycle!
Artists have been using ‘green’ materials in their work long before it became a trend. They are one of many industries that are trying to figure out where Earth-conscious decisions can be made. The Three Rivers Arts Festival regularly looks for artists that positively impact the environment. One of the major ideas is to use salvaged materials in pieces. Sometimes the processes they use to create their artwork is more eco-friendly. Artists’ businesses have made changes to their places of work. More information can be found on the Three Rivers Arts Festival website.
Handmade toy tops from reclaimed wood
Each of Josh Andra’s wooden tops is handmade individually, so no two are alike! There are a variety of shapes & designs to choose from. Andra has been making tops since 1984 and has produced over 100 thousand individually hand-turned tops in that time.
Eclectic home furnishings
Matt Gatto got started in 2002 as a carpenter at Slippery Rock University, where he went to college. He does artwork made from steel wire, fabric, steel, resin, and more! His art includes stage signs, steel brands, jewelry trees, functional art work, and unique furniture. Gatto also has experience in digital photography, custom framing, and drawing in an array of media.
Jewelry Assemblage artist
Gerry Florida started salvaging things as a child, which evolved to going green and using salvaged material for artwork. She mixes an array of objects with materials of different quality (salvaged, vintage & new). Her goals are to inspire interest, challenge opinions & create new perspectives.
Salvaged barn-wood decor
Work shown at Box Heart Gallery
Local previous Emerging Artist Scholarship winner Alex Lobus exclusively uses salvaged wood, metal, and glass. The wood is usually about to be sent to the landfill. Lobus appreciates the beauty of time and weathering, and he tries to enhance old finishes with the hope of displaying its time & beauty.
Reclaimed fabric dolls and wine totes
Martha, or ‘Marty’ Ressler specializes in fabric collages and surface design. Fabric collages combine her love of painting with sewing and fabrics. Hand-crafted fabric dolls—gift for children of all ages, can be made to resemble the real person of your choice. Wine totes are designed with 100% recycled cloth. The idea is to take a bottle of wine to dinner as a guest, then leave the tote so the host can return the favor to someone else, and so on. She also has worked with oil and painting and drawing the human body.