U.P. Cycle raises awareness about environment

It's an art show like no other
Dale Wedig's "Rico" made of scrap metal and plastic.
Dale Wedig's "Rico" made of scrap metal and plastic.(WLUC photo)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - U.P. Cycle is one of the Bonifas Art Center’s longest shows.

“U.P. Cycle is a show that highlights the talents of our local artists and how they repurpose different found objects or reusing, recycling, reducing the amount of stuff that goes into the landfill,” said Kate Oman, Bonifas Gallery Coordinator.

Works of art were created using items that would’ve been thrown out otherwise.

“UP Cycle came to me while I was sitting at an opening reception for a Marquette artist named Stella Larkin,” said Oman.

Larkin created a mandala out of plastic she and her husband found on the shore of Lake Superior after a storm – and they collected a lot.

“It’s 200 ft. of space and they have a hockey bag full of plastic as well that they collected off of this beach that otherwise would’ve been washed into the lake,” said Oman.

Larkin’s inspiration came from artwork she saw in another state.

“She mentioned a group called and it was because of a piece she saw in Florida that she was really inspired to start working with more repurposing points in her art,” said Oman.

As an artist herself, Oman found inspiration for her artwork using old packaging and toner cartridges.

“I started constructing this cityscape that shows the energies and the elements that we take the resources and how we’re using them faster than we can actually replace them,” Oman.

Oman’s piece “Current Rate of Usage” received one of two honorable mentions. The other went to Larry Godfrey with “Tormented Vietnam Mind: Bent but not Broken.”

Third place is Rose Peltier’s piece “Magic Square.”

Deb Abramson’s “Another Bright Idea” took second place.

And first place is Leonard Fieber’s “Ant Nest in Butternut.”

The judge also added a Juror’s Purchase Award which was awarded to Vicky Shirley with “Internet Interruptions.”

“One piece of art spoke so much to my own sensibilities surrounding concepts between the natural and mand-made worlds, texture and tine, 2D vs 3D and asymmetrical harmony...” said Brian Kakas, juror for U.P. Cycle.

There are still more awards to give out – two People’s Choice Awards. “When you come to the Bonifas, we encourage you to pick out a People’s Choice Award. Pick out your favorite piece and put it in a little recycled jar there,” said Oman.

The artwork with the most votes will receive a free Bonifas membership. The second People’s Choice Award is sponsored by St. Vinnies in Escanaba. This winner will receive a 50 percent off their entire order coupon as well as an opportunity to “dumpster dive” in the warehouse. Those winners will be announced at the end of the show.

The Bonifas would like to thank its sponsors, Escanaba’s Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul and the Delta Wide Recycling Center.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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