Where it’s easy being green

There have been used car parts, coat hangers and camera innards. Old maps, discarded dolls and tricycles. Bird cages, dice, tools and even a porcelain sink. Pretty much anything and everything you can think of has been or will be turned into art during the third annual Repo show at the Arts Guild of Sonoma. The results are at once striking, fanciful, and sometimes even a little creepy.

The show’s theme – going green. Given that, all of the artwork adheres to a strict protocol stating that at least 70 percent of the materials need to be either recycled, reclaimed or reused. The Guils solicted more than 85 works for the show from either member artists, invited professional artists, and community members of the Guild, as well as local leaders and celebrities. This year, in addition to Guild artists, the show will see contributions from Chester Arnold, Brigitte McReynolds, Suzanne Brangham and Larry Murphy.

The show is the main fundraiser for the Guild – the oldest continuously operating artists’ collective in California with 34 years under its belt. Each unique piece is available for purchase through either a silent or live auction during the show. Additionally, a number of chosen pieces will be elevated from the silent auction to the live auction at the closing reception, whereby a live bidder can outbid the highest silent auction bid and win the piece. Silent auction bidders are encouraged to attend the reception on March 26 to defend their bids.

Artist Susan Lindstrom says the Repo show came to fruition when the Guild was looking for a fun new angle for its annual fundraiser. “If we can stimulate people to create art, then that’s a good thing, and the show gives non-artists the option to create a piece in their own way with their own flair. Art comes in many different forms.”

For the artists, any found object, either natural or manmade is fair game to use. It can be something that was thrown away, something salvaged, something recycled, etc. Last year’s show, which raised $10,000, saw incredible pieces from all the artists. There were a couple notables ,including a grasshopper made from a fire extinguisher complete with moveable arms and legs and a necklace made from zippers.

“This show is really all about formulating creativity in Sonoma and keeping the community interested in art as a process. We invite everyone in to see what the Guild and the artists are all about,” said Wendy Phillippay, Guild board co-president.

The Guild rolls out the 2011 Repo Show, its silent and live auction fundraiser on March 3, 2011. Each piece in the exhibit is available to the public for silent auction bids through March 26. The opening reception is Friday, March 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery. The live auction and closing reception will take place on Saturday, March 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., also at the gallery. Expect live music, food and great art.

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