Entertainment

Unwanted items upcycled into original works of art

Iron Man by Jim Finley — People’s Choice Award winner: this spectacular piece won the hearts of voters and is made from 16 different types of discarded metals, including car mufflers, playground swing chains, and a BC Hydro bus brake drum. - submitted photo
Iron Man by Jim Finley — People’s Choice Award winner: this spectacular piece won the hearts of voters and is made from 16 different types of discarded metals, including car mufflers, playground swing chains, and a BC Hydro bus brake drum.
— image credit: submitted photo

Call it art for the environment; creativity with a conscience.

For the second year in a row, the Township of Langley is teaming up with the Langley Arts Council (LAC) to encourage artists to turn found or recovered materials into masterpieces and inviting members of the public to come out and see what they’ve come up with.

The Upcycling Design Challenge will culminate on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, when the inventive results will be on view from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the LAC Gallery at 20550 Fraser Hwy. The event is free.

“We were so pleased with the amazing pieces we saw last year,” said Township solid waste coordinator, Krista Daniszewski. “It is amazing how, with a little creativity, items that would otherwise end up in the landfill can become new beautiful works of art. Hopefully this year’s event will be bigger and better than before.”

Upcycling means converting waste material into a more valuable or useful product and both the event’s organizers and the public were impressed by the thought, talent, and variety that went into last year’s challenge.

“Each artist created something totally unique,” Daniszewski said. “We had everything from a coffee table made of hockey sticks and a mat weaved from plastic bags, to jewelry made out of leather jackets and even a life-sized ‘hiker’ man (pictured) made out of 16 different discarded metal items. I can’t wait to see what Langley artists will come up with this year.”

Aspiring eco artists aged 14 and up are invited to participate by creating a new product using a minimum of 75 per cent found or recovered items. Pieces must be submitted to the Arts Council on April 11 or 12 and prizes will be awarded based on creative use of material, originality, the percentage of reused material utilized, practicality, and artistic merit. First place will win $500, with second place earning $200, and third place receiving $100.

For full contest rules and an entry form, visit tol.ca/upcycling.

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