Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recyled art in Lyons, Colorado: Kristine Smock

I'm writing a feature article for my newsgathering glass on waste-to-art. Yesterday I drove to Lyons, Colorado -- about 15 miles north of Boulder -- to interview an artist who makes sculpture from recycled materials, found objects, and waste.

Her name is Kristine Smock, and she's a fascinating, energetic woman who bounced around from topic to topic and room to room in her tie-dyed thermal top and spandex pants -- workout gear -- showing me her workshop and her home.

When she gave me directions, she said that hers was the two-story beige house: she didn't say anything about the front yard packed with bowling bowls on metal posts, larger-than-life figures welded from silverware, and rusted clocks.

Here is a slide show of some of the pictures I took of Kristine's art:

She has done a lot of community projects, including some murals and installations in Boulder that I'm planning on checking out later in the week. She also worked on the Lyons Sculpture Trail for several years, a project that unfortunately isn't up this year.

Garbage is one of her favorite mediums because she likes the idea of transforming something ugly and unwanted into something beautiful. She's also been a lifelong recycler ever since her mother instilled the value of it when she was growing up in New Jersey.

I'm not sure exactly how the story will turn out. I'm planning on driving to Fort Collins to speak to a woman who makes cards from used tea bags on Friday (yes, I know it's Halloween...maybe there are some cool events going on in Fort Collins?).

I also have the names of some other Colorado artists who use recycled materials, and some art critics who and education experts who study the intersection of recycling and art. I'll be posting updates on my progress here.

As a side note, Lyons was a great little town. Just hanging out in one of its local coffee shops, I like the atmosphere a lot better than Boulder. I'll have to go back to check out the cinnamon rolls.

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