El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creative Reuse

I've always been enchanted by art that finds a creative expression for otherwise mundane or discarded items. Art of assemblage, whether expressed as diorama, art car, mosaic, collage--the wide diversity of materials and  endless possibilities excite me. Combination of color, texture and shape, found objects, serendipity.

Today I'll share a few of the Creative Reuse Depots to be found in the Greater SF Bay Area.

Recology - Art at the SF Dump, with an artist-in-residence program; gives tours!

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, 4695 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA
Scrap, Scrounger's Center for Reusable Art Parts, Toland Street, SF, CA

RAFT, Resource Area for Teachers, San Jose and Redwood City, CA

Recycled Building Materials

Ohmega Salvage, 2407 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA "architectural salvage"

Building Resources, 701 Amador Street, SF, CA

Urban ore, 900 Murray St., Berkeley, CA

And, well, it's not "hoarders" and it's not "antiques Roadshow"'s "American Pickers", a TV series I've begun watching, primarily b/c these guys are out there in middle America, finding treasures in people's backyards, barns, garages and dump heaps. I am a little bit sobered by the glee with which these guys readily rip-off (profit) from the little old timers whose cherished and savored collected junk they abscond with. There are some really neat finds. Some really great rust! But the excitement over buying a 60 year old leather saddle for $75 dollars and having it appraised in the thousands, is both real and ... well I feel for the 90+year old who relinquished his saddle for so little, when these guys are seeing both an intrinsic value and the big giant DOLLAR SIGNS. I dunno. I'm still on the fence on this. The cool junk, meeting the old Folks from America--that's alright. Somehow the profiteering aspect rankles me. Another Person's Trash...