Thursday, May 15, 2014

More than Rust at the Art of Trash 2014 + Some Upcoming Maui Events

New uses for rust, computer hard drives, plastic forks and spoons? Yes, at the Maui Art of Trash exhibit which takes place every year around Earth Day. Any Maui resident can enter multiple pieces of art, as long as they are sufficiently trashy or made from items that would otherwise be recycled. The public schools also participate in classroom Art of Trash. There is a community celebration for the opening night replete with an Art of Trash fashion show and live music.

Here are a few photos from the Art of Trash exhibit this year:

A collage of Art of Trash pieces

Collage 1:
Left column from top to bottom:
 Tracy Tarlow, “Many Birds Were Saved”
Cecile McMahon, “82732580002”
Deybra Fair, “Song of a Broken Princess”

Middle column from top to bottom:
Murphy, “Bugged Out”
Yvonne Santos, “Electric Paintbrush”
Diana Drake, “One Story Leads to Another”
Carla Thistle, “Revised Plans”

Right column from top to bottom:
Carla Thistle, “Inner Work”
Lynne Bear, “Please Don’t Label Me”
Jolyn Bien, “D/A Convergence”
Laurie Furumoto, “Hard Driving Roadrunner”

Another Art of Trash Collage.

Collage 2: Clockwise, from left to right: 
Kelly Sullivan, “…of a Dream” 
Lori Shinsato necklace – name unknown
St. Anthony Art Club, “Mushu” ?? (The name of the piece is hard to read)
Linda Castro, “Picasso” 
John Wilson, “Calvin Cooler” 
Yvonne Santos, “Glue Gun Pagoda Goat”

First place winner: Cecile McMahon, “82732580002” It looks like Cecile used chicken wire or wire hard cloth as a base for weaving old computer or telephone cords. Brilliant!

St. Anthony Art Club,“Mushu” appears to be the name of the piece

One of my favorite pieces was by Lynne Bear.

Lynne sewed hundreds of fashion labels to make this outfit.

Using trash to make art is a creative exercise. In my experience, it’s very freeing. There’s no fear of ruining perfectly good art material, because it already started out as trash. The worse thing that could happen is it goes back into the garbage or the recycling bin.

By the way, this is the first year I’ve entered since 2010 and not been accepted. My piece this year was very small, a pair of circuit board earrings, but I’m very fond of them.

One can’t predict what will be accepted or not. It can depend on how many other pieces are made of similar materials, or the mood of the juror, or how trashy a piece looks. One year, I entered two pieces which I thought were fantastic and only one was accepted. On the day to pick up rejected art work, I met another Maui artist who had made trash art jewelry from beads out of magazine paper. Acceptance or rejection is not based on how many hours of time are put into a piece of art or how big or small a piece of art is.

Partial List of Prize Winners:
First Place: Cecile McMahon, “82732580002”
Second Place: Kelly Sullivan, “…of a Dream”
Third Place: John Wilson, “Calvin Cooler”

Honorable Mentions:
Murphy, “Bugged Out”
Yvonne Santos, “Electric Paintbrush”
Linda Castro, “Picasso”
Laurie Furumoto, “Hard Driving Roadrunner”
Jolyn Bien, “D/A Convergence”
St. Anthony Art Club, “Mushu” (I’m not sure if this is the name of the piece as it’s hard to read)
Lenny Banggo, "Spoon and Fork Star" (not pictured)
Timothy Gunter, "Swiss Army Knife Personal Robot" (not pictured)

The show will be running through Saturday, May 17th 6 pm at the Maui Mall, near the center courtyard. More photos and information are at the Art of Trash Facebook page

Other Maui events that are worth knowing about:
Maui Start Up Weekend, Maui Research and Technology Center, Kihei. Friday, May 16th - Sunday, May 18th

Could the next Google start up on Maui? If you have a great idea and don’t know how to turn it into a business, or if you are a web designer, software developer or great at PR/marketing or business coaching, you could participate in a team to create a business plan and present it to a team of venture capitalists. One idea gets selected and receives funding. This is how Sara Smith of, recyclable gift wrap from newsprint, got started.

Maui Small Business Week – Makena Beach Resort & Golf, Makena, Kihei.
Free workshops have been offered all week, and the last one is on Email Marketing and Social Media on Friday, May 16th, 12:30 pm – 4 pm followed by an “after party” for anyone who attended any of the small business workshops.

Dr. Tyrone Hayes- Silencing The Independent Scientist, Thursday, May 15th, 6:30 pm. Baldwin High School Auditorium, Wailuku. 
Dr. Tyrone Hayes of UC Berkeley is presenting a free community talk on dangers of the pesticide atrazine. According to the organizers, atrazine is used in Maui in sugar cane, pineapple and corn fields.

Maui Tweet-up at Sangrita Grill, Saturday, May 17th 11am – 1 pm, Ka’anapali.
If you use twitter on Maui, it’s fun to meet other people who use social media. A tweet-up is often the first place where you’ll meet your digital friends IRL – in real life.

Korean Natural Farming Workshop, University of Hawaii, Maui Campus. Did you know that the soil naturally contains beneficial and indigenous (local to that area) micro-organisms?  These friendly bacteria are helpful to plants and can lead to a bigger harvest, healthier plants, and better looking produce. Papayas that are grown with Korean Natural Farming techniques do not show signs of papaya ringspot virus, which damages papayas in Hawaii. In addition, there are ways of using natural resources from the local area without resorting to commercial fertilizers. Maui Farmers Union United presents a workshop on these techniques.

Maui Seed and Plant Exchange – June 8th, 12 noon, Paia Community Center.
 If you garden or have a farm, this is a great way to get more plants, especially ones that grow well in Maui’s unique microclimates. You can also share successful plant varieties with others who are getting started. 

Auwahi Volunteer Program on Saturday, May 17th. 8 am – 4 pm. Ulapalakua.
Once a month, volunteers visit a protected area of native Hawaiian plants in upcountry Maui to weed, plant, or tend these rare plants. Some people have called it a “living plant museum.” For more information and to sign up, email below:

Kalo (Taro) Workshop at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens May 31st – Learn about the many varieties of Hawaiian taro and try your hand at pounding poi. There is a workshop fee. Contact Maui Nui Botanical Gardens for more details. 808-249-2798.

P.P.S. I am running two mini-contests during the A-Z Challenge (and into part of May). Here's how to enter


  1. How fun! And great for the environment. The winning sculpture was amazing.

  2. Aloha Stephanie, Yes, there's always some really cool things there.

  3. Love this idea and great pieces! The winning sculpture reminds me of several outdoor sculptures that are at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the UK.


    Curling Stones for Lego People

  4. Thanks Mars! It's a very clever way of working the wire.


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