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Bismarck Artists Go Green

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A group of artists are creating works of art from items many people would through away.

ReUse, UpCylce, Recreate is the name of the latest exhibit at the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative. And more that 20 pieces of re-purposed artwork are on display.

A group of Bismarck artists has gone green.

Lydia Richez-Bowman
"I decided to make a necklace and a pair of earrings, because at the beginning of going back to my art, I was a jeweler. It's called floatation, because it has kind of that floaty feeling to it," says Lydia Richez a Bowman art teacher.

Fourteen artists contributed to the ReUse, UpCyle, Create exhibit, re-purposing everything from plastic bottles to guitars to sheetrock.

"It's an opportunity to look at materials that normally as an artist, I may not use. And it's also an opportunity to find ways to look at something that normally might be thrown away or you just dismiss it as unimportant. And if you're looking for that different way to use it, it becomes very important," says Richez.

Austin Schmaltz used a friend's leftover sheetrock for his project.

"He was sheetrocking his basement and he had scraps that were just going to go to the garbage. So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to put that to use in a creative way to promote this theme and this show," says Austin Schmaltz a Bismarck High School art teacher.

Schmaltz used junk and scraps in addition to a traditional medium to create his artwork.
He says the tree is a remind of what is behind the sheetrock.

"Obviously, people know that trees get sacrificed all the time for building materials or paper. But, this was just kind of a statement that if we can remind ourselves of what holds this structure together and what is behind something like sheetrock. If we keep that in mind, we can remind ourselves that we're surrounded by something other than sheetrock all the time, even if we manipulate it and it becomes other things," says Schmaltz.

He says he hopes it will create a gratefulness for nature and encourage others to upcycle.

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of April. You can stop by Thursday through Saturdays to check it out.

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