Southern Utah University’s Center for SUUstainability is calling for artists to turn what might be considered trash into treasure.
On Wednesday, February 1, the center will host an “up-cycle” sculpture contest, soliciting works of art made from everyday items such as utensils, paperclips or tin cans.
In keeping with sustainability objectives of reduce, reuse, recycle and reinvent, the contest aims to highlight the many uses that commonplace objects can have and encourages creative ways of putting retired items back into use. The concept is borrowed from a style of art called “Assemblege,” where ordinary objects are placed together to form works of art. Practically any object one can think of may be used, from spare parts of machinery to a ball of string.
Students who wish to participate have three different options— to work as a team, create something on their own or participate in an impromptu sculpting session on the day of the event which will take place in the Living Room of the Sharwan Smith Student Center.
Sculptures will be on display beginning at 9 a.m., when the on-site competition will commence. Sculptors will have until 2:30 p.m. to form their masterpieces and awards will be presented at 3 p.m.
A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the best team sculpture, and the best on-site creation will receive $100. The first place winner in the individual artist category will receive $300, and $200 will be awarded to the second place winner. Additionally, a “Peoples’ Choice Award” of $100 will be given to the sculpture which receives the most votes from exhibit attendees.
Artist Beverly Mangham will serve as juror for the contest, applying her years of experience in assemblage-style art in determining which sculptures deserve recognition for creativity, inspiration and effective use of materials. Mangham is a United Arts Council teaching artist from San Marcos, Texas and has produced award-winning works of mixed media art since 1992.
At least three different objects must be used in each sculpture, preferably of formal or emotional significance. Successful designs will include thoughtful materials that, when put into final form, comprise something more interesting and meaningful than the individual elements themselves. Because space is an issue, the contest requires that entries not exceed three feet in width, length and height. Sculptures must also be portable and free-standing.
Those not inclined to sculpt but still hoping to participate can help the center collect materials for use in the on-site sculpting competition. Items such as books, CDs and cases, broken jewelry, toys and fabric are requested. These materials will be used in the impromptu challenge on competition day. Drop off boxes are located in the SUUSA office in the Sharwan Smith Center.
Entries for all but the impromptu challenge must be submitted on January 31, between noon and 5 p.m. in the Student Involvement and Leadership office, located in suite 177 of the Sharwan Smith Center.
For more information or to obtain an entry form, contact Keri Mecham, director of Student Involvement and Leadership, at 435-865-8557.