by Glen Rogers
A vast dump of plastic waste swirling in the Pacific ocean is now bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined. Other “islands” of plastic trash circle the globe. Plastic is one of the biggest threats to our planet. Ocean plastic pollution is killing more than 100,000 marine animals and birds each year. People are also negatively affected as the toxic chemicals in plastics are contaminating our bodies.
Robyn Child Cole
Plastic Madness/Locura del Plastico, an art exhibition featuring more than 25 from San Miguel and our region, highlights the global plastic problem with over 30 works of art made from single-use plastic such as bags, straws, bottles, and utensils.
The goal of the exhibition, which will be at Casa Europa in March, is to raise awareness and inspire people to take notice, take action, and make life changes that can positively impact the planet.
The exhibition features artists who met the challenge of creating a variety of artworks from plastic found in their daily lives. Some pieces are humorous, like Susan Dorf’s mask, ‘Cloroyote’, made from a Clorox bottle.
Other works are elegant, like Charlotte Forbes’ dress, ‘Latte Frio’ made from plastic straw covers.
Particular works are thought-provoking, like Bobbi Van’s ‘Twisted Love.’ Van believes the artist is a transformer in a world of hype-technology and plastic disasters. “The artist has a moral obligation to use those harmful materials and create objects of beauty that will not end in the landfill or the ocean.”
Artist Alex Faber Smith sends an urgent message from Mother Nature with her piece, ‘I Am Calling You... Can’t You Hear Me?’: “... the water, the air, the land and all living beings are choking on PLASTIC.”
Alex Faber Smith
Bea Aaronson, submitted “WHITE END”, a piece from her series “And We Shall Die of Too Much Civilization,” created in homage to Charles Baudelaire who wrote that very same prophecy in the 19th century. According to Bea, “We are still playing the apprentice sorcerer with technology running amok, without the armature of any ethical values. Earth, oceans, air, plants, trees, and animals…Our planet…Wounded, polluted, destroyed…Art is more than mere decoration. Art can, must, create an awareness, open a consciousness, shake a soul. The artist has a moral responsibility.” In her piece, Aaronson chose to paint every recycled bit of plastic she could find in her home, white, on a tall rectangular white totem desert-like canvas. Why? “Perhaps because the whiteness could be felt, perceived as the new Ice Age which is dawning on us. I do believe the white man played the biggest role in creating the destructive nightmarish mess we are in,” says Aaronson.
Oscar Aguirre’s impressive installation, “Cocoon” was created from garbage collected from the streets of San Miguel with the help of children from his art workshops. Aguirre often works with plastic and is compelled by a sense of responsibility to address the terrifying problems of the planet. Through his art and teaching, he educates his students to the challenges we confront in our society, identifies ways to help, and teaches them how to address these issues through contemporary currents and proposals with art. The raw materials – plastic bottles and bags were cut into strips and manually woven or knitted into “Cocoons”.
These are just some of the compelling artworks that illustrate how plastic has become one of the biggest threats to our planet; it doesn’t decompose and never goes away.
Participating artists in Plastic Madness SMA are: Bea Aaronson, Lena Bartula, Jan Davis, Teresa Miller, Alex Faber Smith, Victoria Pierce, D.J. Barrett, Lola Pico, Juan Pablo Gomez af-trolle, Susan Dorf, Jose Luis Arias, Dianna Thornhill Miller, Charlotte Forbes, Cathy Taylor, Kambria Antón, Glen Rogers, Oscar Aguirre, Ram Chanty, Peter A. Davis, Bobbi Van, Michele Atkinson, Gabriela Buenrostro, Mary Sky Schoolcraft, Hugo Anaya, Robyn Child Cole, Lanny Garland, Ana Quiroz, Jane Dill, Bruce William Stuart, Robert Toll, Marly Benedicto, Cynthia Fusillo, and Emily c-d.
Plastic Madness was organized by Glen Rogers in 2016 while living in Mazatlán. She was moved to action after finding a plethora of plastic garbage on her daily walks. With both sadness and disgust, she invited local artists to engage the public through their artwork and organized the first exhibition at the Angela Peralta Gallery. That exhibition traveled to California and New York with U.S. artists showing alongside those from Mexico. She invited local and regional artists to create works for a new exhibition at Casa Europa in San Miguel for this latest version of Plastic Madness.
Plastic Madness/Locura del Plastico comes to San Miguel de Allende
Over 25 Artists Express Their Concern for the Planet
Opening Reception: Thursday March 7 at 6pm
Casa Europa, Calle San Francisco #23, Centro Historico
Exhibition: March 7 – 30 from 10-5pm
Special thanks to the following local sponsors of this exhibition: Camino Silvestre, Turk, The Good Hunt, Discover SMA, Realty San Miguel, Tres Raices and Lokkal.
Glen Rogers is an internationally exhibited artist whose work includes paintings, prints and public sculpture. Her work is inspired by visits to sacred sites around the world and the artifacts left behind by these ancient cultures, chronicled by her book, Art & Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place. She offers monotype workshops from her studios in San Miguel de Allende and Mazatlán and offers Art Vacations to Peru and other exotic locales. Visit her website: www.glenrogersart.com and her blog, artandsacredsites.com, an artist’s journey of travel, sacred sites, and creating art.
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