Last week saw a lot of progress made in our TRASHformation program at Academia Avance middle school in Highland Park. Since the students had recently learned how to create a small 3D sculptural model, it was now time to think about how we will create the “skin” of our piece. Besides mentoring the students, Rebekah Waites and some very dedicated volunteers (thanks, Doug!) are simultaneously building the large structure. With the overabundance of fabric materials the community donated we thought it best to put those to good use. We introduced the students to a new art method known as “fabric mache”. “Fabric Mache” is in sense very similar to paper mache, it is the cross-stitching of strips of fabric that have been dipped in a solution of glue and water; once dry it becomes a stiff shell that can be painted and/or drilled.
In these upcoming weeks we will begin working towards designing and “stuffing” the interior of the sculpture, ensuring the strength and durability of the bear. We are still searching for a suitable home for this art piece at a Highland Park art gallery. Let us know if you have any leads!
In the mood for some light reading? Our latest newsletter will get you caught up on what we’ve been up to the last couple of months.
Here’s a sneak peek: Check out Daryl Hannah and me (above) at the EcoChic Fashion Show, which took place during LA’s Fashion Week as a fundraiser for Project Save Our Surf. Daryl is a big activist for clean oceans, and it was an honor to meet her! A big thanks to Marina DeBris for inviting me to wear “Castaway,” her latest piece of trashion, built entirely from garbage washed up on the beach. Read the full newsletter here!
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; we here at RuckusRoots couldn’t be more thankful for our families, friends and supporters. Without your love and support, we could not continue to bring sustainable arts programs to East LA and beyond!
We had a GREAT time this weekend participating in the “Hands Across the Sands” global action against off shore drilling…check out the video below!
On a beautiful Saturday in Malibu, CA, we met up with Marina DeBris, creator of wearable TRASHion made from refuse washed up on the beach. You may remember Marina was one of several designers to show pieces in our recent TRASHion show. We mingled with other ARTivists and models, and had a great photo shoot, the content from which will help Marina get the word out about her art and about the vital cause of protecting and cleaning up our oceans.
Monching Flores was there taking pictures (he also provided some great photos of TRASHion Show for us). We’ll be sure to post more pics when he passes them along. Right now you can see a few here.
Check out the video below, put together by Rob Kalmbach…you can spot RuckusRoots founder Christine, and several TRASHion Show participants, including Esjay George, Dax Mafesi, Sydney Wheeler and of course Marina DeBris!
The fact of the matter is, we all love to have a good time, and we (mostly) all hope to do some good in the world while we’re here.
On June 16th, RuckusRoots succeeded in throwing an event that achieved both of those things, a party with a purpose, if you will. TRASHion Show, a fundraiser and fashion show featuring clothing made from creatively recycled materials, took place at Wild Honey Studios in downtown Los Angeles benefitting RuckusRoots’ award-winning program, TRASHformation.
Through TRASHion Show (and programs like TRASHformation), we wanted to get people thinking critically about trash. The purpose of the event was to expose our audience to some of the many creative and functional uses for garbage, to raise their awareness of the vibrant sustainable arts community LA is home to, and to inspire them to apply some of what they experienced at the event to their own lives. (Oh, and to have a good time while we were at it: check and check.) The event also helped us raise some seed funding, which we will use to bring one of our core programs, TRASHformation, to teens and young adults in East LA.
It’s important to note that TRASHformation, and TRASHion for that matter, are not just about people playing with garbage (although it is fun!): we are trying to initiate a paradigm shift in how we define garbage, use resources and therefore, how we impact the world. What we throw away is only garbage if we THINK it is. This kind of mental shift is what’s required if we’re going to begin to live sustainably as a society.
Arts education is in as much peril as our planet. I want to create programs that address and support both of these essential entities. My goal is to offer a sustainable arts program to young people in my community as a supplement to what they are most likely missing at school. Creative expression is vital, not only for sustainability (let’s face it: coming up with solutions to save our planet will take creative problem solving, collaboration and ingenuity, all of which our programs teach), but also for the world as a whole.
RuckusRoots is about grassroots action for change: that’s what we hope TRASHion Show and our programs demonstrate. It’s important to note that everything RuckusRoots has achieved and is striving towards is made possible through collaboration with the large community of artists and activists we call friends. I’m honored and humbled to be involved with such a great group of people.
For more inspiration, check out a full gallery of images from TRASHion show, and let us know what you think!
The fact of the matter is, we all love to have a good time, and we (mostly) all hope to do some good in the world while we’re here.
On June 16th, RuckusRoots succeeded in throwing an event that achieved both of those things, a party with a purpose, if you will. TRASHion Show, a fundraiser and fashion show featured clothing made from creatively recycled materials, took place at Wild Honey Studios in downtown Los Angeles benefitting RuckusRoots’ award-winning program, TRASHformation.
With over 10 designers showing around 50 looks, the runway was filled with pieces that were not only beautiful, but also inspired onlookers to think about how trash can be turned into treasure. I was amazed by the creativity of the designs featured in the show. For example, the top image is of an outfit created from leather that was taken from a couch found in a dumpster. The second image is of a dress made from trash found on the beach. The third is a piece made out of old CD inserts and recycled paper and the fourth dress was created out of an old WWII parachute!
My inspiration for throwing this event was not only to raise money for RuckusRoots’ programs, but also to remind people that what we throw away is only garbage if we think it is. I believe that this kind of mental shift is required if we’re going to begin to live sustainably as a society—I want to initiate a paradigm shift in how we think about and use our dwindling resources.
Kate Havens is a PhD candidate at USC, studying biokinesiology, or human movement. But when she’s not studying or teaching, you can find her crafting. Kate has always been interested in design and has created dozens of sewn, knitted, and crocheted items for family and friends. Blissfully married to Robin, she is an Art Customs supporter, baker and co-conspirator.
Robin Banks is an artist, inventor, product developer and founder of the arts collective AntFarm LA, and of Art Customs, a machining, fabrication and art house that provides collaborative production and concept development on projects large and small. Dream it, plan it, do it is Robin’s motto, and he does just that, while encouraging and inspiring others to do the same. Robin’s work as been featured in music videos, commercials and TV shows, as well as in music festivals like Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival and Lighting in a Bottle.
For instance, Robin made these custom SteamPunk Goggles, Eyeball Lathe, and Mouth Animator for the David Guetta and Niki Minaj Video “Turn Me On”, in 2011. Construction time was only 3 days.
Robin made this Working push-pull train car for Gardnier Fructus hair products commercial. This 200-pound, CNC-cut aluminum prop only took 4 days to complete. To see more of Robin’s portfolio and custom costume work, visit www.artcustoms.com.
We couldn’t be more happy to have artist Susan Spehar on board for our upcoming TRASHion Show. Susan is one of the co-founders of Paper Botanicals, which creates custom, couture hand-made paper sculptures for events and personal home decorating.
Susan, who has been practicing art since her teenage years, specializes in large scale acrylic portraiture, pencil drawing and mixed media installations. Her work is featured in fellow designer Erinn Valencich’s Beverly Hills showroom Erinn V Maisons, and has been auctioned off at previous RuckusRoots fundraisers to support the cause. This is Susan’s first time creating wearable art through Paper Botanicals, but she is “excited and looking forward to the challenge of creating an outfit to highlight the importance of recycled materials and sustainable living.”
When they moved out, Susan’s children left behind a large collection of CD cases and their inserts. Instead of throwing them away, she decided to honor the importance music has played in her family by repurposing them into handmade paper fabric. The white flowers on the dress are also made from recycled paper and are leftover from Susan’s daughter Stephanie’s wedding.
Inventive Psycho Girlfriend designs–constructed from unexpected materials like circuit boards and plastic sporks– will grace the RuckusRoots’ TRASHion runway!
Psycho Girlfriend is a wearable art collaboration effort by Vanessa Bonet and Kasey McMahon. The whimsical, highly detailed work is based on abstractions of fashion and sculpture on the human form. Both women are artists and fabricators with combined skills in welding, blacksmithing, foam and clay sculpture, casting, leathercraft and sewing. Together they create one-of-a-kind, sculptural creations that explore design by blending traditional and unconventional materials.
Based in Los Angeles and founded in 2004, their work has been shown in various galleries and has been widely featured in both online and print publications including Wired News, Elle Décor Italy, Los Angeles City Beat and boingboing.net.
Vanessa describes herself as a sculptor, who has a love for 3-dimensional art. The drive behind her art is her desire to make fun of all aspects of life, from the unimportant to the most serious, as well as the desire to make art that exposes people to the unfamiliar and pulls them out of their comfort zone.
Bonet began making wearable art in 2003. It all began with a hat. The mouse head hat (now paired with the spork dress) was her first piece, and after making it she realized that wearing one’s art is an amazing way to interact with people. The expressive nature and versatility of wearable art as a medium has continued to inspire her. In addition to dresses, she also makes giant puppets, and is in the process of creating a collection of giant toy puppets, inspired by old, vintage toys that she has acquired. Her favorite word is “noodle,” she likes cheese, and has a strange fascination with dolls.
Kasey McMahon is a multimedia artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her work is driven by her own curiosity regarding our distinctly individual interactions with technology, the world and each other. She is fascinated by the elegant complexity that exists within and between the natural and technological realms: both intricate and untamed in their own ways. Influenced as much by hardware stores and the monsters underneath her bed as by haute couture and fine art, Kasey believes imagination is a superpower we all possess and encourages the occasional sidestepping of grownup life to recall a child’s eager fascination with the mundane.
The effect of Kasey’s work is humorous and frequently disarming, highlighting the chasms we often create between ourselves, our environments and our machines. Drawing attention to the reverberations created by manipulation of either nature or technology, her work often fuses the two together and imbues the resulting creations with a lighthearted otherworldliness.
Photos courtesy of Marianne Williams, Kevin Rolly and Daniel Bergeron
Getting closer to our event, here we highlight yet another amazing designer featured in our show: Taryn Hipwell of EcoDivas TV
Taryn Hipwell is the founder and creator of EcoDivas TV. The goal of EcoDivas TV is to create awareness and build communities that focus on Eco film, fashion, cosmetics and food by sharing information from different cities around the world. EcoDivas is all about highlighting the silly, sassy, sexy side of being green. Today, Taryn has taken on a new role – she is an enthusiastic, ethical, sharp writer, producer and host committed to creating super fun fashionable reality TV shows that encourage socially responsible and sustainability.
Taryn is from Pittsburgh. She studied Fashion Design and Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and screenwriting through the UCLA Extension Program. She worked for designer Anna Sui in New York and styled films and celebrities, while assisting director David Zucker in Los Angeles. Her unique repurposed Kimono Quilt can be seen on HGTV’s the Antonio Treatment and her recycled fashion, Alexander McQueen, tissue paper replica dress was recently featured in PAPER Magazine.
Taryn teaches “Eco Fashion” specialty classes such as “Sustainability and the Fashion Industry” at FIDM as well as “Recycled Fashion” at Environmental Charter High School and Youth Environmental Network Zambia in Africa. She has decided to connect the two cultures and created R’ashion Camp Zambia – an Eco Fashion exchange camp that teaches youth from the US and Africa how to turn waste into fashion whilst taking care of our beautiful planet.
Taryn recently directed, produced and repurposed dresses for the first fully greened music video “Uber Super Feeling!” filmed in Zambia, Africa and Los Angeles, California for Zambian pop star Kachanana. And she would like to give a shout out to YEN Zambia members, B2K dancers, ECHS students and the Zulu Maniacs for all their hard work.
Taryn is a 2012 Los Angeles Business Journal – Women Making a Difference Award Nominee.
Taryn says, “Our passion has always been to showcase fascinating and creative women doing amazing things in the green scene. I foresee many changes happening in the fashion, film, cosmetics and food industries this year. And I hope, with your help, that we can create a positive shift in all industries. I want Eco to be fun, flirty and fabulous.”
Another designer we love: Here we highlight Marina DeBris, the mastermind behind Washed Up.
Marina DebRis was so frustrated with finding piles of trash on our beaches, that she felt she had to do something with it, and that’s just what she did. After 13 years of collecting trash found on California’s coasts, she has put the collection to use. About 3 years ago, Marina started making pieces of art from the found objects of trash she’s collected over the years and calls the collection Washed Up. DeBris says she uses “creativity, a little humor and irony to show that the waste we create, keeps on coming back to haunt us.”
Her designs include pieces made from the trash collected, as well as trash couture, fashion assembled from the found beach garbage. Marinas art “encourages the viewer to question the use of single use items and consider ways to reduce waste so it does not end up in our oceans and our landfills.”
Another commendable action on behalf of Marina was when she appeared in front of a DWP Environmental hearing questioning their use of single use coffee cups and plastic bottles.
DeBris studied at Indiana University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She’s lived all over the world including New York City, London, and Sydney. DeBris is originally from Detroit, MI and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Marina’s work has been featured on KTLA and she currently has a kickstarter project you can help with by clicking here.