Category: Designers We Love

RuckusRoots featured on One Green Planet

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The supercool website One Green Planet recently asked me, founder of RuckusRoots, to write an article about how we can use art to fight for the planet. I was pleased to contribute my views on ARTivism, as well as mention some of my favorite artists who expertly blend the worlds of art and eco-activism.

Check out the article, and let us know: how do you use art to fight for the planet?

RuckusRoots goes to Coachella with CryoChrome!

rainbow tunnel

If you were wondering what RuckusRoots was up to this April, look no further than CryoChrome, one of the must sought after art installations on display during this years Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, CA.

We spent 18 days in the desert to help make CryoChrome come to life. The piece was the brain child of LA artist and RuckusRoots collaborator James Peterson. This was Peterson’s first commissioned art piece for Coachella, and we are proud to say it was a success!

The interactive sculpture was roughly 40 feet long and 20 feet tall, and was based on Russian ice caves. Affectionately dubbed ‘the rainbow tunnel,’ the outside of the piece was covered in a skin of over 20,000 recycled CD’s (yay for recycled materials!) while the inside of the tunnel was vaccu-formed plastic walls covered in color-changing LED lighting. As you walked through the piece, the walls rotated around you, creating an optical illusion that left festival goers dizzy and exhilarated. Lines remained long throughout both weekends of the festival; we estimated at least 70,000 viewers experienced the sculpture each weekend.

RS cryochrome outside
Photo courtesy of Koury Angelo via Rolling Stone

We were honored to be a part of such an amazing art project! The piece was featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, The Hollywood ReporterHuffington Post and many more. It was an exciting month and now we’re on to more ruckus-raising at home!

Coachella 2014: Cryochrome from James Mills on Vimeo.

The Nighthawk ‘Skeleton’ Unveiled

It’s been an exciting week for our TRASHformation program at Nightingale Middle School. Along with collaborating artist Robin Banks, the RuckusRoots team erected the body, or “skeleton” of our Nighthawk sculpture. We visited the lab on Wednesday to assess the trash with Robin and Jennifer Cunnigham, the D3 Lab coordinator, and made a rough sketch of how we would construct the bird and just how big it would be. Since the kids worked so hard and collected so much valuable and usable materials, everyone agreed the bigger the better!

Photo Jan 30, 12 09 59 PM

We used recycled steel bike rims to form the torso and found scrap metal to make the outline of the wings, legs and feet. We welded it all together while adding structural stability, ensuring the sculpture is safe to display on campus.

Photo Jan 31, 3 12 20 PM

We then delivered the frame to the D3 Lab in three pieces, setting it up so that we can begin adding to it with Nightingale students over the next few weeks.

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Thanks to the Academia Avance High School senior interns who worked with Robin to weld together our Nighthawk and also transport it to the lab. We always appreciate a helping hand.

Photo Jan 31, 12 55 41 PM

The kids were quite excited to see part of the structure come together today! We looking forward to next week when more hands will be needed and the kids’ creative ideas will finally come to life. Stay tuned!

TRASHion Show: A Success

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!

The designers behind these awesome TRASHformations were Susan Spehar of Paper Botanicals, Marina DeBris of Washed Up, Taryn Hipwell of EcoDivas TV, Vanessa Bonet of Psycho Girlfriend, Jamia Weir of Art Girlsy, Kate Havens of Ant Farm LA, Robin Banks of Art Customs, Victor Wilde of The Bohemian Society.

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.

Thankfully, sponsors like Elemental LED, Flying Dog Brewery and KORK Kitchen LA make achieving that goal a little easier. And a very special thanks to our musical talent Michal Menert of Pretty Lights Music, Ryan Nelli and Erinn Bone.

I’ll be sure to post a link to the video once we have it edited—until then you can see even more pictures of TRASHion show on the RuckusRoots Facebook page!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in TRASHion Show and to all those who helped make it such a special night for all!

 

Thanks to Dan Krauss for the images, featured designs by Art Customs, Marina Debris, Paper Botanicals and The Bohemian Society.

Designer Highlights: Kate Havens & Robin Banks of AntFarm LA

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.