A Trashy Exhibit

Rings made by Michelle Mercaldo from the necks of plastic bottles (photo provided)

Artists turn garbage into art

An upcoming exhibit by two Hudson Valley artists will challenge gallery visitors to rethink terms they have long taken for granted, including resource, discard, harvest, family and possibly even art.

Plastic Harvest, which opens with a reception at Gallery 66 from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 4, features a collaborative work by Cassandra Saulter of Cold Spring and Michelle Mercaldo of Beacon. Their medium is discarded plastic. “We need to start seeing the near-infinite supply of plastic trash as an ‘unnatural resource’ waiting to be harvested,” Saulter said.

Rings made by Michelle Mercaldo from the necks of plastic bottles (photo provided)

Rings made by Michelle Mercaldo from the necks of plastic bottles (photo provided)

Delphine, a six-foot, sculpted figure created almost entirely from plastic bottles, is the centerpiece of Saulter’s installation. “Delphine’s world,” as Saulter calls it, embraces the trappings of a family home — from furniture and wall art to a pet dog. The difference is that Delphine’s home has been created almost exclusively from throwaway bottles.

Mercaldo has worked in metals, using classical methods to create her jewelry. “Using plastic as a raw material, married with natural materials such as metal and stone has made me question where we place value,” she said. The jewelry she created for the exhibit is a collection of rings made from the threaded necks of plastic bottles, encircled with thread made of silver and gold.

The exhibit is on view Friday to Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. through March 27. Gallery 66 is located at 66 Main St. in Cold Spring. For more information, visit gallery66ny.com or call 845-809-5838.


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