Contact: Allison Goodin, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790


Campus Contest/Exhibit Challenges Community to Change Perceptions of Waste


Allentown, PA (March 24, 2008) - The Cedar Crest College Art Department has challenged the campus community to join the green revolution with a contest that will literally turn trash to treasure.  The project will culminate in a new juried public exhibition showcasing the artists' work.  The exhibit will open to the public on April 24, 2008 with a reception from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the North Annex of the Tompkins College Center. At 7:00 p.m., a special lecture by the exhibit's juror and eco art specialist, Linda Weintraub, will take place in the 1867 Room of the Tompkins College Center (See separate release Eco Art Specialist to Give Free Public Presentation at Cedar Crest College).

The Art Department has invited individuals from across campus disciplines to create a work of art out of something discarded.  The piece can be no more than 5"x5"x5" and purchasing any new materials to form it is prohibited.  The department has also suggested that the creation perform a useful function and juried awards will be given in three categories - medium (most neglected waste), concept (most ingenious reuse), and strategy (most clever manipulation). 

"As the 'green' movement grows on a national and global level, we feel that art and artists can play an integral role in changing our culture's perception of trash, and how wasteful habits impact the environment," says Jill Odegaard, associate professor and chair of the art department at Cedar Crest.  "When we elevate an object to the level of art, it takes on new meaning - it becomes useful.  If each of us would consider the possibilities of something's usefulness before discarding it, we might be surprised at what we discover.  This activity can then inspire us to reconsider other aspects of our daily habits where we might be taking things for granted."

The idea for the contest and exhibition was born from an art workshop that Weintraub held at the College previously.  During the workshop, she gave each student a peanut and asked them to personalize it so it became more significant.  Then she asked them to explore the resourcefulness of the peanut - how all parts of it could be transformed into something functional.  For example, the peanut shell could be used as a spoon, or the nut of the peanut made into peanut butter or oil.

"Linda challenged us to think differently about this seemingly insignificant object. This is the purpose of the "Go Green" exhibit," says Odegaard.  "We are asking the campus community and the outside community to starting thinking small instead of big; crafted rather than manufactured; recylced rather than purchased; valued as opposed to disposable; and unique instead of replaceable."

The exhibit is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact the Special Events Hotline at 610-740-3791 or email news@cedarcrest.edu.

Media inquiries may be directed to the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.



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