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Click Orlando: From trash to treasure: New art exhibit in Sanford features garbage gallery

Mallory Burrell Anderson is one of the artists featured in the "Garbology" exhibit. (Hollerbach's Art Haus)

Samantha Dunne, Digital Journalist

Published: August 30, 2022 at 5:58 PM Updated: September 2, 2022 at 8:58 PM

SANFORD, Fla. – In art, no material is wasted.

At least that’s the case for Hollerbach’s Art Haus’ new, free “Garbology” exhibit, which runs through Oct. 27 at the 205 E. 1st St. location.

The work of 15 artists litters the space as they implement trash as their medium, displaying pieces assembled from discarded, found and recycled materials to explore the ephemeral nature at the surface of our consumer-driven world and spotlight the importance of conservation efforts in the face of this phenomenon.

Moriah Russo, Hollerbach’s Art Haus nonprofit gallery and foundation director, said the open call for submissions drew artists from all over the world attuned to the climate, waste management and water pollution issues we face as a society.

Stephanie Lister is another artist featured in the Sanford gallery. (Hollerbach's Art Haus)

Young artists especially, Russo said, were attracted to the theme as people who identify as the ones inheriting the responsibility of caring for the dying planet.

“All these artists kind of seem to respond to that with their work, even if it’s not as literal, you know, it’s in some of the messaging and the undercurrents,” Russo said.

Some of the artists featured address “the state of disposal through visual exploration of consumption, waste, and the social construction of both material and cultural value,” according to the gallery website.

Russo said even gallery spectators who aren’t normally exposed to conceptual art pieces, like Fabienne Riesen’s assemblage sculpture of trash or Leah Sandler’s watercolor cyanotypes of litter she found walking to 7-Eleven, resonated with the gallery.

Leah Sandler’s watercolor cyanotypes repurpose trash she found on a walk to 7-Eleven. (Hollerbach's Art Haus)

“I think because everyone can kind of relate to this sort of existential dread (and everyone thinks), ‘What are we going to do when we run through all of the Earth’s resources?’” Russo said. “It was interesting to watch people express more vulnerability on that subject than I wouldn’t otherwise witness if, you know, they weren’t being confronted by art that challenged their feelings.”

But with complex problems comes creative solutions.

“There’s so much more that we can do with waste material, you know? To see that... so many of these artists made these pieces out of what others think, might be... useless material and trash. So I think that’s a really constructive element,” she added. “People might be able to see that they can do something useful with their recycling instead of having that sort of regret and dread when you put something to the curb.”

You can see Ryan Price's "Sewer Mutants" at Hollerbach's Art Haus. (Hollerbach's Art Haus)

After all, one artist’s trash is another one’s treasure.

You can view the “Garbology” exhibit alongside Priscilla Billingsley’s “interior castle” solo show and Linda Hollerbach’s acrylics display through Oct. 27.

All of the art featured within the gallery’s four corridors is for sale and proceeds for Hollerbach’s and Billingsley’s works go directly to the Hollerbach’s Has Heart foundation, which provides scholarships for local food service workers and their families.

Proceeds from the art purchased in the “Garbology” exhibit go to the Haven for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife.

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