Upcycling art, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value. Like most of us, during these past few pandemic months, we are eating out less and eating in more. Thus, we are creating more trash thus more items to recycle. At Springhouse, this is an opportunity to create something from nothing which we are calling UPCYCLING.
One of our first upcycling art projects repurposed old daily activity sheets, memos and newspapers distributed to residents. We gathered them, cut them into crazy shapes and created a collage. During the height of the quarantine, we engaged our residents by coming door to door with a rolling art cart with all the supplies to create the collage which reflected the beauty of repetitive shapes, contrast and recycling.
If we are dining in, we are also drinking in. This summer, we collected corks from our empty wine bottles. We took the recycled corks, colorfully painted them, labeled with vegetable names and attached them to small dowels. Then, we put them into the ground as plant labels in the Springhouse garden. These instant plant labels helped us anticipate what would sprout!
Paper flowers made from recycled menus and the activity calendars were another fun project for our residents. The idea was mimicked from a New York Times article.
The paper flowers sit in vases outside resident’s apartments. We also made some flowers and attached to recycled plates. These wreaths are hanging on resident doors and hanging in the art studio.
Upcycling Art is Everywhere!
Upcycling art has been so popular our residents are still saving various items from their meal delivery trays to use in creating recycled vessels. These vessels can hold various items such as paint brushes, pencils and pens or their paper flowers. The containers change into various shapes using tape, paint and papier-mâché. One resident has transformed their recyclables to resemble peacock feathers.
This is an amazing example of how we can make something from nothing and create spectacular forms of art. Bravo to Karen Levy in our activities department and our creative Springhouse residents for making upcycle art so much fun!