If you’re looking for a fun way to get in your daily steps, while enjoying nature and discovering a bit of contemporary art, then head on over to Riverside Park and check out RE:GROWTH, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit, a summer-long public art exhibit which includes site-specific works by 24 artists and covers 100 blocks of the westside park and waterfront.
Among my favorites of these works is an entirely charming fantasy garden installation by New York-based Korean artist Sui Park entitled Summer Vibe. While not entirely accessible — it’s located behind a locked gate — Summer Vibe is easily spotted along Riverside Drive at 78th Street as long as you know what you’re looking for.
In the first week of December, I was invited to a fantastically fun Tree Trimming Party at The Norwood House, a private Arts and Culture club located in a multi-story townhouse on West 14th Street in Manhattan. The club is filled with beautiful contemporary artworks, rare collectibles and antiques, and eye-catching oddities throughout its many rooms. While I was exploring, I spotted this string of large, irregularly-shaped colored lights, which were draped around a bust nestled on a stairway landing, and they grabbed my attention right away. Because, colored lights.
A close examination revealed that the lights are made from a variety of empty plastic bottles, which have been dyed a spectrum of colors and fitted through the bottom with a single light in each. Crafty!
Is this a likeness of Rasputin? Who knows!
I did some Googling to see if I could find instructions on how to make this specific style of upcycled plastic bottle lights, but I was unsuccessful in my quest. Perhaps you can scrutinize these pictures to figure it out for yourself! Good luck!
Creating cool, modern furniture from upcycled car parts is not an entirely new idea, but in this case there is a unique motivation behind the design. This fun and funky Side Chair and Cocktail Table — which incorporate discarded car tires and refinished bike wheels — is by Xtreme Upcycle, a small business whose proprietors have a deep social conscience behind everything they produce.
Embracing the theme of Turning Trash Into Treasures, Xtreme Upcycle (established in 2012) lives its vision of reducing waste and combating climate change; finding alternative uses for discarded items and recycling them into up-cycled new products! Based in Ghana, West Africa, Xtreme Upcycle works on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by halting climate change in its own small, but significant, way. In partnership with it upcycled fashion accessory business MH Couture, they promote positive environmental sanitation processes, create employment for all (with an emphasis on women), and contribute to the education of underprivileged young women and girls in West African society. They also embark on regular tree planting exercises in rural communities. Fantastic!
We walked into an exhibit by Kathleen Bennett Bastis in the middle of last week’s art crawl, and what stood out for me most was this piece, Tangled Up In Blue which instantly reminded me of the work of John Chamberlain, although on a much smaller scale.
The sculpture, made of found and repurposed metal, plastic and paper is part of Tossed and Found, Bastis’ second solo at Chelsea’s First Street Gallery, in which she continues to explore and celebrate the inherent beauty of found objects that are cast off, washed up, worn out and walked over.
The artist explains: “I curate the streets, riverbanks and scrapyards collecting detached bits and fragments; allowing them to start the conversation that guides the direction of a piece. I try to forge a relationship between these elements’ unique visual ‘dialects’ and construct a common language by translating their past narrative into present tense.”
You can see the rest of Tossed and Found on Exhibit Through May 20th, 2017 at First Street Gallery, Located at 526 West 26th Street, Suite 209, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
I’ve posted about lighting made from recycled drums before but these ceiling lamps, made from two toms discarded from a Pearl Kit, have a kind of rustic charm I really like. From what I can gather, these lamps were originally created by an Etsy user and successfully sold. You could probably figure out how to make them yourself if you had a few spare drums laying around.