Collaborative project sees a creative reuse forest

Photo by Joey Lopez.
Photo by Joey Lopez.

See the Forest for the Trees is a remarkable artistic partnership between Spare Parts, the Southwest School of Art Teen Program (aka Bee Nation), and AP Art Lab. Members of Bee Nation decided they wanted to make a statement with a project for this year’s Contemporary Art Month (CAM). Under the guidance of Spare Part’s Founder and Director Mary Elizabeth Cantú 15 students collectively envisioned a large tree demonstrating the connection of art to the environment. “The theme of the exhibition revolves around the environment, material culture and waste,” explained Cantú. “Because, it’s not waste until we waste it.” Teen Program Coordinator and international installation, performance, and video artist, Julia Barbosa-Landois guarantees, “you will be wowed by this innovative installation made by local teens.”

Cardboard is everywhere. It’s used to package over 85 percent of all products sold in the United States. Seemingly innocuous, cardboard is the single largest component of municipal solid waste around the world.  Cardboard and paper waste make up 41% of the solid waste stream. According to this informative web article one ton of recycled cardboard saves:

  • 390 kWh hours of electricity
  • 46 gallons of oil
  • 6 million Btu’s of energy
  • 9 cubic yards of landfill space

It’s all about imagination and creativity

 Using over 400 square feet of discarded cardboard and reclaimed materials such as reused cardboard, plastic, paper and found objects from their homes and schools, Bee Nation students created this colorful, decorative tree to ‘uncover the aesthetics of detritus and reexamine their relationship with the discarded.’ Celia realized, “Until we did this project I had no idea the amount of trash we make as a society. It kind of freaked me out.” The student artists worked on their project beginning in January. First came the design and then the construction of the trunk and branches. Truly a tree of life there is a cornucopia of multimedia vignettes worth your while to give up close perusal. “Coming from a home of six people, we always have a LOT of toilet paper rolls. I learned that they can make really cool flower designs if you just alter their shape. That goes for all scraps of trash,” explained Alexis.

Someone said this to me the other day and it’s pretty on point – “Art is about transformation.”

See the Forest for the Trees

 

The resulting installation gives used cardboard a new life that honors its forest origins. “We didn’t know how it would look until it all came together during the installation,” said Bee Nation’s Elizabeth. Amanda Poplawsky, offered her AP Art Lab Studio located at 1906 South Flores for the exhibition. “I love working with youth in connection with social issues and activism,” she states. The above picture shows the tree from the front with closer views of some of the amazing details that went into the artistic construction. No wonder this installation won a Contemporary Art Month Cammie–the R. Mutt Award for Novel media turning something that isn’t art into art (see below photo with Cantú and Poplawsky) (March, 2016).

Cammie Award 2016

Cantú added, “Through this project I hope our artists are compelled to continue this type of art making. I hope these students see how their work can inspire and educate the community. Finally, I hope they understand that it doesn’t matter how young or young at heart you are, you have the ability to make positive change in the world.” This Tree of Life represents the hope for a healthier, more sustainable future. Because, there’s no such thing as thrown away!

 

Spare Parts is SA2020 nonprofit partner and this event was “Awesome Certified.”

 

 

MINI ART MUSEUM presents: That Thing On The Side Of The Road

Honoring the overlooked; the cast-off; the abandoned; the peripheral. If the title sounds like it could be the name of a B-Horror film, you’re hearing it the way I do. Not going to bother you with pretentious words like hierarchy, transgressive, etc., but those concerns are there, they just won’t fit in my pickup truck. That’s really all there is to it. Why say more? -Hills Snyder, Curator
Honoring the overlooked; the cast-off; the abandoned; the peripheral. If the title sounds like it could be the name of a B-Horror film, you’re hearing it the way I do. Not going to bother you with pretentious words like hierarchy, transgressive, etc., but those concerns are there, they just won’t fit in my pickup truck. That’s really all there is to it. Why say more? -Hills Snyder, Curator

 

Hills Snyder, artist, musician, writer & curator, was Director/Curator of Sala Diaz from 1997 to 2015. Current activities as curator include the Wolverton Home Gallery in San Antonio, an art gallery within a house concert venue & The Bedsitter Art Fair in Vienna, February 2016. Photo by Ramin Samandari.
Hills Snyder, artist, musician, writer & curator, was Director/Curator of Sala Diaz from 1997 to 2015. Current activities as curator include the Wolverton Home Gallery in San Antonio, an art gallery within a house concert venue & The Bedsitter Art Fair in Vienna, February 2016. Photo by Ramin Samandari.

 

ARTISTS
Georganne Deen
Alejandro Diaz
Meghan Fest
Sarah Fox
Erin Hinz
Leigh Anne Lester
Ken Little
Gordon McConnell
Michele Monseau & Odie Cole
Kelly O’Connor
Chris Sauter
Richard Saxton
James Smolleck
Barbara Sturm
Jeremiah Teutsch
Jeff Wheeler

MUSICIANS
Michael Carrillo
Michael Chapa
Doug Clarke
Odie Cole
Kim Mackenzie
Joe Reyes
Matthew Rose
Erik Sanden

Opening & Performance – 03.05.2016 / 7pm
Period Modern_4347 McCullough Avenue, San Antonio, TX
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Closing at CAMMIE Awards & Closing Party – 03.25.2016 / 6pm
Chrispark_111 Camp Street, San Antonio, TX

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FOLLOW THE MINI ART MUSEUM ON FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM. #weeart
FOLLOW THE MINI ART MUSEUM ON FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM. #weeart

 

Deep In The Heart: A Texas Trilogy – spare parts MINI ART MUSEUM Travels to Europe

June 2015 San Antonio MINI ART MUSEUM Exhibition travels to Europe_PRESS RELEASE
Deep In The Heart: A Texas Trilogy
The Spare Parts MINI ART MUSEUM travels across the Atlantic June 8, 2015 to exhibit artwork by Vincent Valdez, Angela Fox & Christiana Puente.

The MINI ART MUSEUM (MAM) is proud to present Deep in the Heart: A Texas Trilogy, an exhibition featuring the work of three San Antonio born- & based-artists, that will travel through Europe June 8-24, 2015.

Deep in the Heart: A Texas Trilogy artists are: 2015 Texas State Artist Vincent Valdez, Angela Fox & East Central High School senior/Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) 2015 Texas State medalist Christiana Puente.

“Not only are participating artists pushing boundaries in this exhibition because this is the smallest work they have ever created (& commissioned by a museum), they are also surpassing geographical borders,” explains MAM Board Member Nancy Casanova.

“My artwork is going to places I have never been before,” exclaims Angela Fox.

Casanova will exhibit & document Deep in the Heart: A Texas Trilogy in the following European cities June 8-24, 2015: Paris, Munich, Venice, Florence & Rome. “Each artist created a small-scale portrait reflective of our community’s diverse artistic craftsmanship, & we are pleased to share their work with the rest of the world,” Casanova continues.

“Each artwork is no larger than a business card (2×3 inches) but packs a powerful story. Don’t let size deceive you,” notes Mary Elizabeth Cantú, Spare Parts Founder/MAM Co-Founder. “We provide the magnifying glasses, too.”

Vincent Valdez, Angela Fox & Christiana Puente (left to right)
Deep in the Heart: A Texas Trilogy artists: Vincent Valdez, Angela Fox & Christiana Puente (left to right)

“We are ecstatic that the MINI ART MUSEUM is going to Europe & I don’t think we could ask for a better group of artists to represent San Antonio,” says MAM Co-Founder Gabriela Santiago.

The Spare Parts MAM is a non-traditional art venue & serves as a site-specific institution that generates accessible fine art experiences.

Spare Parts founded the MINI ART MUSEUM in 2013 to bring the fine arts museum to schools & the community. This opportunity for schools seeks to eliminate bus fees, complicated scheduling & simply brings fine art to classrooms & the world.

In 2014 & 2015 the MINI ART MUSEUM won back-to-back Contemporary Art Month Through the Looking Glass Awards for Bending Perceptions. This year San Antonio Magazine recognized the MINI ART MUSEUM as the city’s Best Program Introducing Youth to the Art World.

Follow the MINI ART MUSEUM on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/miniartmuseum/) & Instagram (MINIARTMUSEUM). #weeart