“Think Art Before You Toss”

At Hill Center’s Young Artists Gallery

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Painting on assemblage of tea bags

The environmental activists in the Junk Art Club at Eliot Hine MS are staging another show at the Hill Center Young Artists Gallery. Those with fond memories of last year’s exhibit will not be disappointed. Under the direction of club leader, Suzanne Wells, they’ve taken reuse and recycling to a new level of artistic expression.

Their fans will be pleased to know that there will be a new bottle-cap interpretation of a Jacob Lawrence painting from his Migration Series (panel #57 The female workers were the last to arrive north).

Visitors will also be delighted by the ethereal watercolors of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials – and then amazed when they discover that the gauzy canvases are actually sewn from used tea bags. The work involved just to create the fabric is a true testament to Wells’ commitment to using recycled materials. Discarded pistachio shells are put to effective use in another piece. And, with an assist from a friend of the club, Maurice Cook, topographic maps discarded from a local consulting firm have become the basis for silhouettes of club and community members.

This is art that makes a statement – one that the creators see as particularly urgent. They are eager for the Capitol Hill community to visit the show and consider what it communicates about environmental issues: “We need to be more mindful of what was here before we were, and recognize we’re the ones harming the environment now,” says student Catie Guire. Josie Boesen wants “people to think about the footprint they are leaving on earth, and how our actions affect the environment.”

Hill Center is located at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The Young Artists Gallery is on the ground floor, east of the main staircase. The show will hang until the end of August. The artists hope you will find occasion to stop by and be “inspired to reuse, recycle and protect the environment” and enjoy the aesthetics as well. As Jackson Sanders points out, he “looks great as a map!”

Eliot Hine Junk Art Club members

Capturing the Beauty of Springtime
Sharing space in the gallery are the winners of the first annual photo contest sponsored by the Capitol Hill Kiwanis Club, for 6th through 12th grade students attending District schools. “Capturing the Beauty of Springtime” will be on display through the end of July.