Valley families can enjoy a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition called “Green Revolution” through Saturday, May 25 at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA). Each site that hosts the exhibition gets to add a local twist, so related events with a “green” theme are taking place at TCA, Tempe Public Library, Tempe History Museum and other Tempe venues.
Tempe worked with local artists and organizations to create an interactive exhibition that combines the arts and sciences while focusing on “going green” in Arizona, according to TCA Gallery coordinator Michelle Nichols Dock.
Exhibiting groups include Arizona State University art and ecology students led by associate professor of photography Julie Anand and nine individual artists from Gilbert, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Bend, Ore.
Several works by Desert Vista High School art students will be on display. After a section of the rubberized dam surrounding Tempe Town Lake burst in 2010, teacher Stacy Marko selected some of the salvaged pieces and asked honors art students to paint “something positive about Arizona” on them. Assorted plant, animal and nature scenes are included.
“They jumped at the chance to have a little piece of history,” recalls Marko, “taking something that could have easily been dismissed as trash and turning it into something beautiful.” The project also taught the teens that they don’t need to buy canvas to create works of art.
Christy Puetz of Scottsdale created several life-size creatures for the exhibition, including a bear, tortoise, sloth, gila monster, monkey and capybara. All are foam-constructed and covered with “up-cycled” and repurposed items such as wool and leather from old clothing, glass beads, steel pins, doll eyes and more. Puetz will demonstrate her art from noon to 2pm on Saturday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, April 6 in the TCA Gallery.
Digitally manipulated photos of trash Christina Barnes found while walking her dog are part of the “Abandoned” exhibit at Tempe Public Library. Jill Friedberg works created with collected objects (including laundry lint and cat fur) are part of the library’s “3R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” exhibit.
“Green Revolution” addresses recycling, energy, carbon footprint, gardening and hybrid homes. Participants will make duct-tape crafts, paper beads and recycled book art and there will be meet-the-artist opportunities. Free family workshops take place Feb. 16 (plastic bag weaving), March 9 (cardboard trees), April 20 (native seeds) and May 25 (recycled collage) from noon to 2pm at TCA. tempe.gov/tcagallery.