RACINE — “Waste Not,” a contemporary art exhibit in vacant storefront windows along the 1400 to 1500 blocks of Washington Avenue in Uptown Racine, will be on exhibit through February. “Waste Not” focuses on repurposing waste materials and the impact our daily consumption poses.
Five local artists turn everyday and manufacturing waste into art, each exploring innovative approaches to their free and abundant material of choice.
Rebecca Bissi, Maureen Fritchen and Maggie Venn all use polyethylene foam, with strikingly different results and colors. Bissi, an artist with a fashion design background, creates a life-size black cocktail dress by attaching varying sizes of the same motif to a slotted base. The dress can be worn, but Bissi cautions, you cannot sit down. Fritchen chose an aqua foam for its glass-like color and cable ties to form large coral-like vessels. Venn creates large biomorphic forms that cascade from the ceiling. She sees the pink installation as a rushing waterfall but invites viewers to read into it what they may.
Mimi Peterson uses colorful discarded plastic for her sculptural assemblage. For Peterson, assemblage is an instinctive ritual rooted in “hunt, gather, build” and brings to mind that the use of castoff things is a metaphor for life itself. Multidisciplinary sculptor John Zehren turns his attention to the never-ending availability of corrugated cardboard. Zehren’s philosophy is that in order to save energy, repurposing rather than recycling should be society’s first choice.
The installations are visible all day and will be lit during the evening hours.
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