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City exhibition features artists working with recycled materials

Ever wonder what happens to old pull tabs from aluminum cans, the wire off champagne corks, or that old lathe from a room remodel? Well, wonder no more. You’ll find these and many other objects reclaimed by several artists and put to good use in the exhibition Reclaimed: Artists Working with Recycled or Repurposed Materials. The exhibition is on view through June 1 at Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery.

Reclaimed highlights 16 artworks by 10 artists, including Lawrence Beck, Ross Palmer Beecher, Evan Blackwell, Diem Chau, Marita Dingus, Julia Haack, Meng Huang, Kate Hunt, Deborah Lawrence and Marie Watt.

In Tracks 2 (2009), Haack salvaged the lathe from old houses being torn down and reworked the rough-hewn wood into brightly painted, dimensional wall pieces. Beecher gathered tin cans and bottle caps then cut and wove the tossed debris into motifs in Candy Cobweb Quilt (2003). In The Disposable Heroes series (2005), Blackwell used thrown-away materials such as plastic forks or those iconic, red plastic cups and melted them to form life-sized heads.

City Curator and Collections Manager Deborah Paine selected the artworks from the city’s Portable Works Collection. Nine of the artworks were recently purchased by the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) Solid Waste Division using SPU 1% for Art funds.

Image: Marita Dingus, Quilt (detail), 2000, recycled fabrics, 62″ x 36″. Photo courtesy of the artist.