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Art from Recycled Materials. Reuse, Recycle Artist Supplies.

Rescuing and Turning Reusable Materials into Works of Art May Be One of the Highest Forms of Recycling

There are a number of grass roots artist material reuse organizations that have sprung up here and there around the country for the purpose of recycling materials that would have otherwise gone into landfills and making them available to community art educators and artists.

Artist Materials Reuse Organizations

SCRAP (Scroungers' Center for Reusable Art Parts) ".... is a creative reuse center, store and workshop space founded in 1976 in San Francisco, California. Donations of high quality, low cost, re-usable materials such as textiles, paper, jewelry findings, wood, buttons and plastics are collected from businesses, institutions and individuals then sorted, displayed and distributed by SCRAP for artists, educational and community groups. Free materials and art activities are provided through our community outreach service.

"By breathing new life into old objects, SCRAP reduces the amount of waste going to crowded landfills. By offering low cost art and re-use workshops and providing schools and organizations with badly needed art supplies, SCRAP stimulates creativity and environmental awareness. Nourished by so many wonderful SCRAP treasures, Children and adults learn how to 'REDUCE, RE-USE AND RECYCLE.'

"Manufacturers save money on their disposal costs and receive tax benefits. Artists, museums, senior groups, summer camps, children's centers and theater groups transform SCRAP materials into sculptures, paintings, and other masterpieces. Anyone can contribute by purchasing or donating high quality, clean, reusable materials that might otherwise be thrown away...."

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (Oakland) " an ecological treasure trove of art & craft materials, educational supplies, vintage furniture, home décor, paper goods, fabric, and much more.... The mission of the East Bay Depot is to divert waste materials from landfills by collecting and redistributing discarded goods as low-cost supplies for art, education, and social services in our Depot Store. The educational mission is to increase the awareness of school children and the general public regarding the green benefits of reusing materials...." on recycling "... You never know what will come in handy for a craft project or fill a need around the house. Besides, recycling stuff is better than adding to the landfills and it's good for our environment! Here are some ideas for things you can use all that old stuff for...." Covers how to make things out of a wide variety of discarded household materials and some free natural materals including Breyer's ice cream containers, old film cannisters, berry baskets, old CD's and CD jewel cases, plastic pop bottles, cardboard tubes, tin foil, glass bottles, milk cartons, wire hangers, egg cartons, garden hoses, newspaper, recycled paper, newspaper clippings, baby food jars, wallpaper, tuna cans, pine cones, acorns and sea shells.

ReDiscover Center (Los Angeles) ".... reDiscover recycles everyday discards donated by business and gives them new purpose as hands-on learning materials. reDiscover is a community art center, reuse warehouse, gallery and event space...."

Trash for Teaching (Los Angeles) "....collects clean and safe cast-off materials from manufacturing processes (that would otherwise become trash) and repurposes them as educational resources.  With those materials we provide a comprehensive arts education program in local school districts, which includes teacher workshops and classroom instruction. Our programs feature the popular Treasure Truck visit making our materials readily available to teachers and students in the schools, and helping to bridge the gap between the excess of waste created in manufacturing processes and the lack of materials in public education...."


More Artist Materials Reuse Organizations

Hudson Valley Materials Exchange (New Paltz) "...non-profit community warehouse for Arts - Education - Building materials rescued from the business wastestream... The warehouse is open to the public. Shopping is done in one of two ways: as a member or a non-member. Many of our materials are 'free' to members. They may take as much as they can use at no additional charge. Non-members shop for these materials by the shopping bag . Some materials of greater value are priced individually with members receiving a 50% discount.... "

Materials for the Arts ".... has provided thousands of New York City's arts and cultural organizations, public schools and community arts programs with the supplies they need to run and expand their programs. Materials are gathered from companies and individuals that no longer need them and redistributed to the artists and educators that do. In the process, hundreds of tons are removed from the waste stream every year and kept out of landfills, helping to sustain our environment and promote reuse and waste reduction. MFTA helps artists realize their visions, provides students with a richer educational experience and furnishes businesses and individuals with a simple and efficient way to enhance the cultural life of their city...".

The Creation Station (Lansing MI) "... all-volunteer run, nonprofit organization provides scrap materials that educators, parents, artists, childcare providers, youth organizations or the front_doorgeneral public can use for art, crafts, science or school projects...."

The Scrap Box (Ann Arbor, MI) "... is the place for creative recycling. You will find a large assortment of unique materials which manufacturers and businesses would otherwise send to landfills: remnants, samples, seconds, and scraps. This good 'junk' can be recycled into useful materials for art classes, learning games, science experiments, crafts and other expressions of creativity. The Scrap Box is open to the public..."

See also Dumpster Diving for Fun and Profit


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