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Recycled items reincarnated at gallery S.P.A.C.E. in May
Jan Clayton Pagratis 004
“Our Ocean” 2007, 5x7 Oil Paint Chips and Rusty Metal on Canvas by Jan Clayton Pagratis. Pagratis is one of 12 artists reincarnating found and recycled items into works of art during an exhibition entitled, “Reincarnated” being presented by the City of Savannah’s Recycling Complex at Gallery S.P.A.C.E., May 2 -27. - photo by Photo submitted

SAVANNAH — You will never look at trash the same way again. That’s the intention of an exhibition on display at Gallery S.P.A.C.E. May 2-27. Entitled, “Reincarnated: Art Showcasing Reduce, Reuse & Recycle,” the exhibition will showcase 12 local artists that use found art or recycled materials in their works as a conscious, creative way to cut down on waste.

Presented by the City of Savannah Sanitation Bureau’s Recycling Complex, “Reincarnated” will feature such diverse works as shoes fashioned out of rubber tires, handbags and frames fashioned out of National Geographic magazines, mosaics made from sea glass, and sculptures made from old computer parts.

“I recruited the artists by going to festivals and art galleries all around Savannah and seeking out pieces that were, whether intentionally or unintentionally, made with reused or recycled materials,” said Anne Robinson, outreach coordinator for the Recycling Complex and organizer of the show.  “Once I found a talented cadre of artists, we met monthly for six months to exchange ideas and materials. ‘Reincarnated’ is the end result of these gatherings.”

Artists selected to participate in this unique exhibition include: Maria Johns Brown Danielle DeMasi, Kristie Duncan, Liz Guri, Paschal Ford, Kelly Goode, Chris Harris, Lind Hollingsworth, David Kelley, Brian MacGregor, Jan Clayton Pagratis and Christopher Schell.

The artists shared resources — literally.  

“They brought items for each other to use regardless of their own chosen medium,” Robinson said.  “For example, an artist that works with discarded wood pieces brought in bags of fabrics for two other artists that work in textiles.

Virtually every type of reused medium one can think of has been used in this show — rubber tires, bottle caps, coffee filters, magazines, clothing. It’s difficult to tell at first glance that these items went into the construction of the pieces.”

Pagratis created her first paint chip collage when she was 10 years old.  

“The process of making these pieces has evolved into assemblage with the addition of almost any material that will add to the vision,” Pagratis noted. “My journey into the world of recycled art began when I couldn’t throw away any more paint.”

Brian MacGregor has won over 20 awards including the National Congressional Art Award. He incorporates reused, found and collected items, including the “dreams” of countless individuals, written in various languages on various types of paper at various times.

“I glue the dreams into my mixed media paintings in a chaotic scientific fashion, to mimic the building blocks of the human psyche,” he said. “My works represent a visual metaphor of the collective unconscious, dreams and international travels.”

Items such as scrap Hardi-Plank, glass and furniture find their way into Liz Guri’s works.

“I have always enjoyed thrift store shopping, garage sales, and dumpster diving to find unique pieces that already have their own personality,” Guri explained. “I let that personality be my guide in the creative process.”

“What is so extraordinary about this show is not only that it will challenge the audience to view waste in a completely different context,” Robinson noted. “It’s also the quality and innovative spirit that are apparent in these works of art.”

An artists’ reception is set for May 2, from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Gallery S.P.A.C.E. is located at 9 W. Henry St. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free off-street parking is available. For information visit