4 Examples of the Artistry of Upcycling

A bike innertube made into a fashionable belt, painted cut-outs from credit cards made into dangling earrings, a necklace from hardware, a dress from Doritos bags. That’s just some of the many examples of inventive thinking at the “Make-Do, a Recycle and Upcycle Art and Fashion Show” at the K Gallery at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda, Calif.

Before I attended the “Make Do” Show at the K Gallery, I wasn’t aware of the term “upcycled art.” Upcycling art embraces the beauty of things we use every day and would normally toss in the trash. I found a site that explains it in greater detail if you want to read more.

“Make Do” features Jennifer Serr, Leonie Holzman, Cheryl Hayward, Bette Barr, Brianna Learnihan, Julie Baron, Linda Lu Castronovo, Susan Leung, Tina Martin, Mary Loughran, Amy Zimmer, Upcycle Clothes, Debbie Callen, Nic Griffin, Chris Rummel, Phil Hargrave, Mary Elizabeth, Stephanie Rodriguez, Michelle Morgan, Joy Johnson, and Shevon Dieterich (and others whose names are not available).

Here’s some creations that caught my eye:

Trash Fashion by Nic Griffin

Trash Fashion by Nicola Griffin

Walking into the gallery I couldn’t miss the mannequins donned with San Francisco-based Nicola Griffin’s trash fashions.

Earrings designed by Cheryl Hayward

Earrings designed by Cheryl Hayward

Cheryl Hayward of Olivia Hayward Designs is an Oakland-based artist who, ironically, had taken classes lead by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley. You can read more about Cassou in a previous post. Hayward said she wanted to make art that was affordable and applying her artistry to jewelry-making meant more people could buy her art. I could see what she meant since that evening she made some sales.

Innertube belt designed by Leonie Holzman

Innertube belt designed by Leonie Holzman

Leonie Holzman has several pieces in the show including a halter top and a versatile medium-sized pouch. The photo shows a belt she designed using a bike innertube.

"Riveted Hardware" by Tara Evans

Riveted hardware by Tara Evans


This necklace by Tara Evans caught my eye. It’s made from riveted hardware, pyrite, and vintage ball chain.

The show’s up through May 4th in case you’re in the area. The next show at K Gallery involves pinball machines.

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