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Art exhibit features recycled materials

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Sedona Arts Center is presenting an evocative and thought-provoking juried exhibition of high-end artworks created from recycled materials throughout January.

The exhibition highlights the hidden value of materials that are typically discarded and shows how inspired artists can repurpose these items into up-cycled artistic work.

In many cases, the inspiration starts in their own studios with transforming some of the bits and pieces of their inventory into a cool piece of work simply by using their imaginations and seeing these pieces through a different lens. Some have collaborated with other artists to create a piece for the show.

Two of the participating artists, Joanne and Art Hiscox, have created three pieces for the exhibition. Each artist created one piece of their own and collaborated on the third.

The Hiscoxes have been recycling materials since they created their first signature "Falling Water River Table" in 2004. Using an 8-inch by 40-inch piece of scrap granite left over from the installation of someone's kitchen counters as the "ground" on that first table, they established the foundation for the 3R philosophy — recycle, reuse, repurpose — they still follow today.

"It's a great feeling to recycle stone that is headed for a land fill," Joanne stated. "I can't even begin to estimate the amount of scrap stone we have been able to salvage and repurpose. It seems like we can't go past a granite fabricator without stopping and picking up something fabulous that no one else can use. So many of these scrap pieces are just beautiful. It doesn't seem right to bury nature's own beautiful art in a landfill. That's why it is so rewarding to incorporate scrap stone into our work."

And it isn't only scrap stone slab that the couple repurposes. As mixed media mosaic artists, they incorporate broken and discarded items in their work. They also encourage their students to reuse showroom samples, found objects, family mementos and garage sale finds.

"Several area interior designers and tile/flooring shops know we provide free materials to our mixed media mosaic students," Art said. "We get calls from designers and stores who save their discontinued samples for us. By offering them as free class supplies, many beautiful samples are saved from the landfill. We always encourage our students to think about repurposing materials from their homes or using garage sale finds when creating artwork. It's amazing what you can create from items others don't want or discard."

The Hiscoxes use a lot of natural materials in their creations. Using natural stone, shell, wood and bark instead of factory-made materials contributes to a healthier environment. Joanne added that the inspiration for most of their tables begins with the selection of the recycled stone slab. Once set into the table frame, the stone slab dictates a certain look and feel.

Joanne said that as unorthodox as it may initially sound, many times the natural materials she uses lead her to a specific design.

"That's what happened with the creation of Angelic Reclamation. I thought I wanted to make a table using a large piece of recycled stone as the base. Once I got the stone home, I looked at it and suddenly saw an angel's body. It was strange because I had picked up the scrap conduit at the metal recycler the week before. When I picked up the conduit, I had no idea it would become long curly angel locks. Only in Sedona."

Joanne went outside the realm of art she is known for and also created a wall piece titled "Meteor Free Fall" from recycled metal and repurposed glass stars in red and blue dichroic glass streaks from a piece of work that broke during the firing process.

Art created a fully repurposed mixed media sofa back table called "Sycamore Creek" made from salvaged sycamore barn wood, broken tinted auto glass to create water rapids, basalt stone salvaged from a wash, lichen moss rock found in his own yard and ammonites that are 250-million-year-old fossils.

The exhibition will open to the public Friday, Jan. 1, at the Sedona Arts Center and will culminate in a live auction and gala event Saturday, Jan. 30, with Sedona Fire Chief Kris Kazian serving as the auctioneer. The exhibition will be showcased in the Arts Center's Fine Art Gallery.

January will also offer a month-long series of related community events celebrating Earth and emphasizing the importance of reusing and recycling the Earth's limited resources. This project is named eARThflows and includes key partners that will produce events throughout January. The linchpin of the project is the exhibition, The Art of Recycling... Turning Trash into Treasure. The exhibition ties the community together with nonprofit and for-profit business partners, emphasizing the need for preservation of resources and positioning Sedona to model its values as stated in the city's new Community Plan.

All residents and visitors will find activities that should intrigue them with a the art exhibition, "green" film festival produced by the Sedona International Film Festival and eco-friendly activities at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village.

Questions about this exhibition and eARThflows can be directed to Gayle Taylor at

Copyright 2015 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: October 21, 2015

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