Re-Build-It Centre opens up to art made from pre-loved material 

Sculptures, carvings, collages are all to be sold to raise funds for WCSS

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Repurposed, re-energized Greg Cutten of the Re-Build-It Centre in Function Junction takes a break while setting up the centre's first art show.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Repurposed, re-energized Greg Cutten of the Re-Build-It Centre in Function Junction takes a break while setting up the centre's first art show.

Ancient oak tables painted crazily, carvings on old doors and panels, surreal sculptures made from lights, large bolts and metal boxes.

The Re-Build-It Centre in Whistler's Function Junction has entered the art world.

The recycling centre has opened up its top floor as a gallery space to display works made from repurposed everyday materials.

Greg Cutten, Re-Build-It's assistant manager, says they haven't tried anything like this before.

"The concept of repurposing stuff has been around for a while, since the 'readymades' with (French artist) Marcel Duchamp," Cutten says.

By having the show, he adds, they want to raise money through arts sales for Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), which runs the Re-Build-It Centre.

Artists taking part come from the Sea to Sky region and the Lower Mainland and include Cutten, Gabby Livsey of Trae Designs, Jack Morley, Stephanie Young, Jason Neve, Randy Smith, Arne Gutmann, Valerie Arntzen and Peter Poburan.

"The pieces will be offered on a silent auction format. The artist sets a base price, which we suggest is 50 per cent of the retail cost of the piece. When someone meets that base price anything above that goes to the WCSS," Cutten explains.

All bids are made in the Re-Build-It Centre gallery.

Cutten expects more than 10 pieces; it was hard to pinpoint an exact number as he was still being contacted by artists.

To make it easier, he adds, the centre offered 50 per cent off their secondhand supplies and materials to the artists building the works.

"The materials they use do not need to be from here, but they do have to be recycled or repurposed material, or the concept has to incorporate some of those things," he says.

As an artist himself, Cutten says he has long been interested in this work.

"For example, we got two pieces in today by Vancouver artist Jason Neve and to describe his work.... They're smaller works, like a collage. Layered paper and found material like stickers, even incorporating things like wax and nails. There is text in them. They are very interesting," he says.

Whistler artist Randy Smith, who creates art under the name The 'Doid, has coloured and painted a shelf for the show with markers, acrylic and spray paint.

"People have to find it but I think it's great. It's a nice, big space and so it will be interesting to see how it goes," Smith says.

"And there's a good selection of artists as well."

Smith likes the idea of recycling objects for art.

"Rather than it going into the dump. It's not that we are turning it into million-dollar pieces of art but it's cool."

The show runs from Feb. 20 to April 22 at the centre, located on Alta Lake Road.

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