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Upcycled Community Art in Grand Ledge

Upcycled Community Art in Grand Ledge

Posted by Spartan Upcycle on Aug 11th 2023

With scrap material, upcycled art supplies, and a salvaged metal Sparty on wheels, Spartan Upcycle set up a booth at the Grand Ledge Art Fair and provided visitors with an opportunity to contribute to a community art piece made from discarded items collected through the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center. 

It was a wet muggy morning, but people arrived smiling, coffee in one hand, an umbrella in the other. Community members -- especially the proud Spartans of the bunch -- stopped to take their picture with Scrap Metal Sparty. They looked at the spark plugs welded to other metal, and pointed at the old broom that was on top of his helmet. As we noticed their interest in creative reuse, we invited them to contribute to a community upcycling project.

Participants took pieces of T-shirt yarn (upcycled from donated T-shirts) and tied them to a repurposed frame. Found at the Free Area of the Surplus Store, we had prepped the frame in advance for the yarn collage simply by pounding nails along the border. The nails allowed the yarn to be draped and wrapped into an abstract web. 

To repurpose leftover textile scraps from past Upcycle events, and engage with youth, we offered another craft they could take home. Children stopped at the booth to decorate an available T-shirt or drawstring bags, also sourced from Surplus & Recycling operations. 

When it was time to pack up the tent and wheel away Scrap Metal Sparty, the colorful, upcycled community art piece was given to Craft Ledge Lane, a Grand Ledge art store and workshop space. The director of the shop was the lead organizer for the Art Fair, and hopes to connect more with the MSU community. The wall hanging celebrates the 50th anniversary of the fair, and shows partnership between the community of Grand Ledge and the Surplus Store & Recycling Center.