Albuquerque resident Cynthia Cook, who studied art and metals at Parsons School of Design in New York and the University of New Mexico, fell in love with can metal more than 30 years ago.
“I discovered a whole new world when I learned about can metal,” she explains. “It weathers beautifully. Made from steel, aluminum and tin, it takes on a blush when rusting. I find it charming.”
Using coffee cans, cookie tins, grocery store cans and vintage cans scavenged at thrift stores, Cook draws on her jewelry-making skills to creates colorful wall hangings that are on display in the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival, which takes place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center from November 30 through December 2.
Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival’s 20th annual event showcases the beautiful and unusual artworks that can be created from recycled materials. Every piece of art is made from at least 75% recycled materials. For artists, creating recycled art is an exciting exercise in saving natural resources.
The weekend kicks off with the Trash Fashion & Costume Contest at 7 p.m. on November 30. Expect to see everything from newspaper, plastic bag and old prom dresses to jewelry made out of tin cans and appliance gears.
More than 100 artists from throughout New Mexico and around the country bring their recycled artworks to the festival’s art market, which is open on Friday evening and all day on Saturday and Sunday. On display are 2D and 3D pieces, jewelry and a variety of holiday gifts.
Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival is a family-friendly event offering art activities throughout the weekend. Visit the festival’s Make and Take area where adults and kids can work with recycled tins, records, fabrics, wire, magazines and more to create their own works of art.
While admission is free on Saturday and Sunday, there is a fee to attend the Friday night fashion and costume contest.