Earth Day can be celebrated the artistic way with three events featuring The Riverfront Arts Center (RAC), 1200 Crosby Ave., downtown Stevens Point.
The exhibit “ReART, Trash Transformed” features artwork made with recycled materials and will open Friday, April 19, at the RAC with a public reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The new exhibit will run through Sunday, May 19. The RAC is open Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The RAC is closed Monday and holidays. Both the reception and exhibit are open to the public and free of charge.
“I think it’s going to be popular because this campus is so green and people around here are environmentally-friendly,” said Kayla Quade, an intern at the RAC and an arts management major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP).
The 59 pieces in the exhibit were created by local artists to help celebrate Earth Day and many are available for purchase. Per the exhibition rules, the pieces contain at least 75 percent of found, discarded, repurposed or recycled materials. Materials include utensils, tickets, bottle caps and scrap metal.
Quade is an exhibit judge, along with SiYu (Lucy) Lu, another intern, Brian Borchardt, the Scarabocchio Art Museum (SAM) coordinator; and Ann Singsaas, a workshop teacher and exhibitor.
Quade said she was surprised at the creative ways the artists used recycled materials and that there is more to the artwork than meets the eye.
“Photos of the pieces were submitted through email, in an attempt to be eco-friendly, so it was kind of difficult to see all of the details,” she said.
The photo of UWSP Art and Design Professor Bill McKee’s “A Mouse is Miracle Enough,” which is a shelf with assorted knickknacks, didn’t express the details of the work in the photo, but when Quade saw it in real life, she was impressed by the piece and McKee’s creative choices.
Quade said some of the objects are made with repurposed materials specifically for the show. However, others are crafted by artists who regularly work with recycled objects, like jewelry artist Susan Hoberg, who specializes in necklaces made with zippers. Her pieces “Serenzippity 1-3” are included in the exhibit.
Although no monetary prizes will be awarded, a Best of Show award, Green Award and People’s Choice award will be given out to outstanding artists.
In addition to the exhibit, the RAC will be creating a community recycled art piece from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 20. This is a family-friendly effort using water and soda bottles to create a sculpture piece that will be installed on the grounds of the Riverfront Arts Center, said Quade.
To participate, bring clean, water and soda bottles, scissors and friends to help with assembly and installation. Rain or freezing weather may cause a postponement of this project. Contact the RAC for confirmation of the event.
Another event will feature three local galleries and entertainment. The Art Crawl will occur Friday, April 19, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in downtown Stevens Point. Gallery Q, the SAM and the RAC will present the opening receptions for artists. “Crawlers” can enjoy a stroll from one gallery to the next, with complimentary refreshments and music.
From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Gallery Q will present, “Walk While the Moon is Full,” which features new ceramic and mosaic work by Lora Hagen and Pauline Merry Prey. Gallery Q is located at 1108 Main St., Stevens Point.
The SAM will present “Landforms and Florals” by Marie App, from 6 to 8 p.m. The SAM is located at 800 Main St., Stevens Point.
The RAC will hold the reception for “ReART, Trash Transformed,” from 5 to 7 p.m.
For more information about any of these events, visit the RAC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/riverfrontartscenter, call the RAC at 715-343-6251 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.