Kenny Chavez sees treasure in everything.
The Albuquerque-based artist specializes in recycled art and is one of dozens participating in the Recycled Santa Fe Art Festival, which takes place in the Santa Fe community from Friday, November 11th through Sunday, November 13th. convention center.
The event started in 1999 as a recycled art market started by Mark Dabelstein and Joe Buffalo Nickels.
The idea behind the festival was to showcase artists creating art from at least 75% recycled/repurposed materials.
In 2017, the Recycled Santa Fe Arts Festival became a 501c-3 nonprofit and also hosts a creative reuse center, Resourceful Santa Fe.
Two aspects of the non-profit organization serve as a driving force for economic development in the art community, support artists with recycled materials, and promote the creation of art from recycled and repurposed materials.
Sarah Pierpont has been the show’s director since 2005.
“It’s amazing how the show has grown from humble beginnings in an empty warehouse many years ago to one of the nation’s premier recycled art festivals,” says Pierpont. “This is a great combination that promotes recycling and exposes the waste of our society while also giving artists the opportunity to support themselves through art.”
Chavez says the festival is his second biggest show after the Contemporary Hispanic Market.
He says Pierpont has made an incredible effort to represent a range of artists and art.
“Being able to walk into the convention center and see all the different artists was inspiring,” says Chavez. “People are coming up with some neat stuff.”
Throughout the year, Chavez collects items from thrift and antique stores.
Last year he started using an old globe.
“I take them apart and wire them into long cell phones,” he says. “We debuted last year and it sold really well. This year we worked with discarded cans, poker chips and a domino set.”
Chavez brings nearly 100 works to the art show.
He cannot realize much of his art with the help of his friends and family.
“I have a friend in Washington who sends me a box of stuff every three months,” he says. “That way people who know me will reach out to me before throwing anything away. From vinyl to her records to bottles to her caps, finding the beauty and inspiration in each piece.” I can.”