Launched on March 25, the Lansing Recycled Art Exhibit and Fashion Show reemerged for its second year to prove that one man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure. Or his shirt.

Ashlae Belisle models a white dress made of recycled plastic carrying bags.

Organized by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, the Go Green Initiative and Linking Lansing & U, the exhibit and fashion show are part of a collaborative effort to raise awareness about environmental issues through the creation of reused, reclaimed or recycled materials.

Through inspirational works of recyclable art, Lansing hopes to encourage citizens to take advantage of their local recycling programs.

Opening day was marked with a recyclable fabric fashion show and an award ceremony for the eight featured artists. One fashion show participant, apparel and textile design (ATD) senior Sarah Bach, submitted her work for the second year.

“For one of my classes, we did a sustainable design, and in another we did a recycled neck design,” Bach said. “One of our teachers suggested we enter the fashion show and keep them on display.”

While Bach’s designs are not currently in the exhibit, three other ATD students have their pieces on display. The garments incorporate anything from used T-shirts and sweaters, to plastic bags and shower curtains.

Soon to graduate, this is Bach’s last year in East Lansing. However, she anticipates the exhibit to come back.

“It seems like the program will probably be back next year. With the increasing awareness of environmental issues, this kind of thing is really popular,” Bach said.

Prizes were awarded to the top three artists and honorable mentions were also given. In first place, Russell Bauer was awarded a $300 prize for “Fodder,” a 12-foot peacock made from trash and wheat grass.

Katie Woods models a red and black recycled wool sweater dress.

Originally constructed for the Grand Rapids Art Prize festival, the arts council requested that Bauer’s bird be submitted to the spring exhibit.

“I use recycled goods a lot,” said Bauer. “They’re more affordable and I like free materials.”

Despite the bird’s great detail and size, Bauer said he and his partner, Janel Shultz – an honorable mention winner – were able to put it together in about three days.

“They were long days, but once we had our materials, we were able to get it done in a few days,” Bauer said.

To see Bauer’s piece as well as other participants’, visit the main lobby in Lansing City Hall. The exhibit continues through April 15 and is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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