Friday, April 24, 2015

Stuff & Junk: Message in the Materials 2015

By Joye Redfield-Wilder,
Communications manager, central regional office

Students in the Yakima area explored current environmental issues and the effects of climate change as part of this year’s Message in the Materials art show and educational outreach program hosted by our Central Regional Office in Yakima.

In anticipation of Earth Day (April 22), students created jewelry pieces from recycled materials and created Climate Change Collages from recycled magazines. Their works are on display through May 15 at the Central office, 15 W. Yakima Ave., Suite 200.

Jewelry pieces made with re-purposed materials
The students from Davis and Eisenhower high schools titled their show this year Stuff & Junk (Click on Stuff & Junk album to see close-up photos and descriptions)

That would be “stuff and junk”– like magazines, recycled leather, buttons, old jewelry and beads and other “found” items to create something new, personal and beautiful.

CRO employees gathered up the “resources” for the projects, scouring their old jewelry boxes, magazine racks and calendar piles to supply students with materials for their creations.

Eisenhower student creates pendant from junk drawer crystals and jewelry
Eisenhower students were challenged to create a collage on the issues they were most passionate about as they considered how the Earth’s climate is changing.

They created flat art using magazine photos and other elements, accompanied by artist statements reflecting their thoughts on the subject.

Eisenhower jewelry students combined the old and the new --- like a deconstructed string of pearls attached to a newly created chain mail -- into innovative pieces. They were assigned to create an enamel piece, a resin piece using a recycled pop bottle cap, and pair with junk jewelry – mismatched earrings, studs, beads and baubles, shells – to create a new bracelet, necklace, anklet or earring set.

Davis students rolled paper beads and combined them with puzzle pieces, leather from old coats, hardware, buttons and ribbons - junk drawer finds to create bracelets, necklaces and earrings. 


On April 17, Yakima Valley students participated in the Skills USA state jewelry competition for high school students. Their challenge was to create a necklace (and maybe matching earrings) using new and recycled materials.
Food and flooding concerns considered in Climate Collage

They had 30 minutes to sketch a design from materials they were given in an envelope and three hours to construct the pieces - using scrap metals, vinyl molding, linoleum, recycled leather and beads. Students from Highland High School joined finalists also from Davis and Eisenhower schools.

WMS outreach too

Ecology staff visited classes relating information on protecting the environment and provided inspiration, and resources (old jewelry, magazines, etc.) for the projects.

Students at Wapato Middle School also had their own show: See the WMS Message in the Materials blog and Flickr album. And last year’s show at Message in the Materials 2014.

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