Justin Keyes • The Daily Beacon: The communal studio brings Knoxville together into a creative space.
“We’ve gone from that little to no cleaning of items to slowly getting to the point where we are creating new things out of salvage,” Meadows said. “There are different people around Knoxville who have taken items and refurbished them for us.”
The collaboration with local artists doesn’t stop there. To help offset costs and to promote further community outreach, the Salvage Shop shares their new space with several local artists.
CREDIT: HEIDI RAND Envelopes made from upcycled pages of an old Thomas Bros map book. ( Chris Treadway )
Similar to the San Francisco program, the designated artist would conduct workshops and tours about creative reuse of discarded materials, but, unlike San Francisco, participating artists would use their own studio space.
The El Cerrito artists would also contribute a piece of artwork to the city that they created during their residency.
If it is brought to the City Council and approved, the program would be paid for from the city’s development fee earmarked for public art, said commission member Heidi Rand.
In 2009, Kääntöpöytä, finnish for “turntable”, opened in Helsinki, Finland tucked between modern highly trafficked railways by local environmental organization, Dodo Ry. The greenhouse and café was built into an existing train turntable left unused in this industrial graveyard due to contemporary trains and stations. The historic steel structure serves as the framework for the thriving greenhouse made of wood sourced locally from Finland and western Russia. True to the passive solar design the walls are made from long-lasting UV protected polycarbonate. Designed by Joseph Mulcahy, the greenhouse was built by the highly involved staff and volunteers under the guidance of a few skilled craftsmen from Lapland.
Kääntöpöytä is full of recycled pallet planter boxes that grow a multitude of veggies and fruits in the warmer months. Kirmo Kivela, a long-time guerilla gardener in Helsinki and project leader, says the green house has extended the very short growing season of this northern city. Walking into the greenhouse on a brisk March day I noticed the surprising warmth achieved through quality craftsmanship and resonating from the Biolan composter at the entrance.
From May through October Kääntöpöytä provides Helsinki residents with brunches, lunches and vibrant live entertainment. A local chef uses the onsite brick oven and cultivated produce to create delicious Nordic dishes. Under the northern summer sun, guests sit on charming benches and chairs surrounding the greenhouse made from reclaimed doors and wood sourced from a local renovation site.
Kääntöpöytä sports a dry toilet for customer use and compost research with Finland’s Dry Toilet Association. Additionally, the café hosts sustainability workshops about composting, beekeeping, pallet planter box making and other do-it-yourself projects. The lively café, or “kahvila” in finnish, adds some much needed pizzazz to the neighborhood for the many artists who rent studios in the nearby old train industry buildings.
A World Design Capital grant from the city and supportive companies including composting pioneer Biolanprovided funding for the project. The land is leased to these innovative activists from the State at a reasonable rate to assist their cause.
The effects of this repurposed space are apparent at the well-attended events in the summer time. The beauty this inventive building adds to Pasila’s underground alongside graffiti covered retired train cars is a powerful testament to what we can do with our outdated industrial lands as modern technology continues to develop.
Even better, get an established program going with your local art schools and colleges.
It is of the utmost importance that these connections and partnerships are made between the materials and the users. Those that happen and are supported at the store level will be the most successful! Congratulations to ReSource for going in this direction.
Local Denver artist Katy Gevaris has a new place to exhibit her work. Gevaris, who, like many other local artists, uses reclaimed materials, can now show her work at Boulder’s ReSource Yard, on a consignment “stage.” She says working through ReSource makes it easier — and greener — to sell her work.
“I tried to open up an Etsy account and sell through that, but my pieces are big, and shipping makes it cost-prohibitive,” says Gevaris, who often uses reclaimed tiles to make mosaic table tops. “And I would rather sell it locally, anyway. That way you aren’t using fossil fuels to ship it …”
The consignment program is a change for ReSource, which since 2010 has employed a woodworker to make furniture and other items from reclaimed materials.
Steve Cavanaugh, program manager of the Center for ReSource Conservation in BoulDer, says the shift is part of a transition from making items to teaching others how to use the reclaimed materials from ReSource for their own projects.
“We’re gearing more toward the educational standpoint in helping people do it on their own,” he says. “It’s one thing for us to build furniture out of reclaimed materials, but another to teach people to do it themselves.”