Granite Creek cleanup items transformed into artworks
Jody Skjei was getting ready to take the art work, "Eye-of-Christ," home Sunday after the One Man's Treasure Art Show and Auction in Prescott, when its creator Jason Bartley asked if he could sign it.
"I would like you to," said Skjei, a local artist. "Jason, you have such a nice eye for design, as well as a good future as an illustrator."
Bartley, a senior at Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, told Skjei he'd ground down rough edges on the barbed wire that surrounded the cross.
"It's important to support young artists like Jason," Skjei said afterward. "When you see art that touches your soul, you need to bring it into your life."
"Because art enriches the soul," said Lesley Aine McKeown, also a local artist.
Art created by local artists from items found during the Granite Creek Cleanup in April was auctioned Sunday at the second annual show at the Granite Dells Resort, said Michael Byrd, executive director of Prescott Creeks.
"This year, 650 people pulled 3-1/2 tons of trash from our creeks in two hours," said Byrd about the cleanup, which Prescott Creeks, a nonprofit organization, has run for the past six years.
Among items found in the cleanup were piano keys, stereo speakers, bicycle parts, a sink, a suitcase, barbed wire, metal of all sorts, drill bits, plates, doors, saw blades, as well as wine, water and soda bottles.
"Last year, we added the element of separating the trash, recylables, and interesting items," Byrd said. "Local artists were asked to take what they wanted, create something, then bring it back for the art show and auction."
A man made from flip-flops, seatbelts and other upcycled items was created by Travis Hawkins, and artworks from students at La Tierra Community School and Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy were also featured at the show.
"Bird Bath," created by Skjei and McKeown, fashioned from a sink with elaborate metal work that included birds and a nest with eggs inside, sold for $475, the highest bid of the night, Benz said.
"I just loved it, thought it was very creative, and it's for a great cause," said John Lutes, owner of Van Gogh's Ear Gallery, who bought "Bird Bath."
Artists with Everybody's Place displayed sea anemone-like art works, free-form sculptures, desk organizers and wall hangings created from recyclables as well as planters created from books.
Everybody's Place helps create opportunities for homeless, veterans, and people at risk to develop skills to create products, develop a business, and earn an income, said Jean Lutz, founder and director.
Ed Reilly, owner of Bronzesmith in Prescott Valley, chose a sculpture, made a donation, and said he would call Lutz about items he could donate from his business that the artists could use.
Sue Cholewa of Prescott said she and her husband came to One Man's Treasure on Saturday so they could decide which art works they wanted to bid on, and they both managed to win several, including Cycle of Life by Grunt Designs, Johanna Hawley, and Sue Knapp.
"I actually got a few items I had my eye on, including one of the birds," said George Seamen, mentioning several birds that Rick Hartman created from discarded metal.
Julie and Bob Noah said they were there to support their son Jason Bartley, who created several pieces for the auction.
Jason said he created "For the Love of Music" from piano keys, a speaker, and wire from the cleanup.
"I wanted to create a piece everyone could relate to," Jason said. "There are few things that bring people together like music."
While many artworks sold, Fill, the 9-foot by 13-foot dinosaur created by Royce Carlson and Juanita Hull-Carlson did not, and will probably remain at the Prescott Creeks office.
Fill has toured local schools and been at events like Tsunami to teach children about the importance of recycling, clean creeks, and upcycled art, Byrd said.
Children enjoy feeding Fill water and soda bottles and he's been emptied several times for recycling, Byrd said.
About 100 people came to the event, which helps fund next year's Granite Creek Cleanup, said Ann-Marie Benz, outreach and communications director for Prescott Creeks.
"This keeps these materials out of the waste stream," Benz said. "Artists use them to create upcycled art that we can all enjoy. It also lets the public know what we're finding in our creek and understand that is not the proper place for those things to be disposed."