‘HATCH’ art festival to crack open March 1-3

Contact: Gail Rost, General Manager, The I.D.E.A. Store
217-352-7878; gailrost@cuschoolsfoundation.org

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Something big and green — and infused with artistic energy and imagination — has been incubating for months at The I.D.E.A. Store, Champaign-Urbana’s premier creative-reuse marketplace. And it’s all about to crack wide open March 1-3.

That’s when HATCH, the area’s first-ever creative-reuse art festival, produced by The I.D.E.A. Store, will emerge in various venues in and near downtown Champaign. HATCH includes an art exhibition and gallery talk; a one-day art fair; and a host of activities led by visiting artist-in-residence Michelle Stitzlein of Baltimore, Ohio. Stitzlein is a found-object sculptor and educator who has been dubbed the “the Bottle Cap Lady” for her efforts to teach children and others how to transform otherwise disposable plastic trash into art.

With the exception of a daylong plastic-bottle-cap mural-building exercise Stitzlein is leading with children at Champaign’s South Side Elementary School on March 1, most events are open to the public.

A complete schedule of activities and list of participating artists is on the Hatch website.

While the term “creative reuse” is somewhat new in the vernacular, The I.D.E.A. Store General Manager Gail Rost noted that people have actually been practicing creative reuse for centuries.

“When used in the context of artmaking, creative reuse is what occurs when artists and designers take discarded materials destined for the landfill — everything from bottle caps, corks and spools to old trophy parts and packing materials — and add their creative touch and talent to ‘hatch’ something brand new,” she said. “Results may be whimsical or functional, but almost always are clever and compelling.”

Along with a team of volunteers from The I.D.E.A. Store, Rost has put together “a vibrant, multifaceted festival with a full menu of simultaneous activities to give attendees a multi-course sampling of the many ways artists throughout the Midwest are embracing the tenets of creative reuse.” The festival, she added, is intended “not only to inform but also to inspire others to rethink the way they interact with materials previously regarded only as junk or trash.”

“We want our community to have a full experience in learning about creative reuse through HATCH,” said Rost, who also is Executive Director of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation. “We want you to see it, touch it, hear about it, explore it, support our artists with your purchases, love it with your friends and help us help the world to slow down, use fewer materials and create less waste. We want you to see the fun, beauty and potential in the everyday waste object.”

Rost said entry into the juried art exhibition and art fair was competitive. HATCH jurors reviewed nearly 100 entries from more than 50 artists and artist-vendors from throughout Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Selected work — created using at least 75 percent recycled, reused or repurposed materials – ranges from assemblage, collage, jewelry, fiber and paper arts to functional design, including garden décor, lighting fixtures and clothing.

Twenty-five pieces by 16 artists were chosen for inclusion in the exhibition, which takes place March 1-3 (Friday-Sunday) at Indi Go Artist Co-op, 9 E. University Ave., Champaign, and continues on view through March 17 (see online schedule for hours).

Twenty-six artist-vendors — including several teams and collectives — were selected to sell their art made from recycled, reused, repurposed or upcycled materials at the art fair, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 2 (Saturday) in the McKinley Fitness Center gym, 500 W. Church St., Champaign. The exhibition also will feature large-scale moth sculptures made from found objects by artist-in-residence Stitzlein.

Another festival highlight is a “mini-bottle-cap mural” workshop for teachers and other interested adults, led by artist-in-residence Stitzlein. To guarantee a spot in the workshop, preregistration is advised, though walk-ins may still be available the day of the event. The fee is $30. Participants may preregister at The I.D.E.A. Store, 28 E. Springfield, Ave., Champaign; by phone at 217-352-7878; or by sending email to hatch@the-idea-store.org and making a payment via PayPal to info@the-idea.store.org.

Also in conjunction with HATCH, award-winning local artist Lisa Kesler has created a limited-edition, signed and numbered 18 x 12 inch poster to commemorate the festival. The two-color poster features linoleum-block-print illustrations of craft-making/reuse materials and vintage wood type from the Living Letter Press in Champaign. The poster paper is from French Paper Co., and is made from recycled fibers.

Kesler’s posters are available for sale now at The I.D.E.A. Store and also will be sold at the HATCH exhibition and art fair for $30 each. Half of proceeds will be donated by Kesler to The I.D.E.A. Store/Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation.

“HATCH is really something special for this community — nothing like it has ever taken place here before; we are lucky to be able to attract professionals that usually go to larger cities,” Rost noted. “In order to sustain this kind of festival, we need the community to come out and get behind HATCH. We want people to come see the creative reuse of just ordinary materials at the exhibition and be inspired — and to ensure that artists will come back next year, we need shoppers at the fair to purchase the really cool stuff that the artists have handcrafted. Think birthdays, Mother’s Day, wedding gifts, graduation, something for yourself…We want to break-even on the event. And, if we do better than that? proceeds will go to help run the store.”

For more information about “HATCH,” contact festival organizers at hatch@the-idea-store.org, or contact The I.D.E.A. Store, 217-352-7878.

###

The I.D.E.A. Store was launched co-founders Gail Rost and Carol Jo Morgan in 2010 as a social earned-income enterprise of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation. Income generated from sales and other programs directly benefit teachers and students in the Champaign and Urbana public schools. In addition to providing local businesses and individuals with an alternative means of discarding unwanted but reusable materials and making them available at affordable costs to teachers, students, artists, crafters, hobbyists and others, The I.D.E.A. Store staff and volunteers offer workshops and other educational programs, and engage in community outreach activities that emphasize ways to protect the environment, conserve energy and other resources, and reduce the local waste stream.

Ohio artist Michelle Stitzlein named Hatch Artist-in-Residence

Released 1/22/2013

4C_horizontal_hatch_primary

Momentum has been building as Hatch — The I.D.E.A. Store’s first-ever creative-reuse art festival, March 1-3, 2013 — continues to add new features to its festival line-up.

The latest development is the addition of Baltimore, Ohio-based artist and designer Michelle Stitzlein as festival artist-in-residence. Hatch, which takes place in various locations in and near downtown Champaign — including at The I.D.E.A. Store — also features a juried art exhibition and art fair.

Stitzlein, who is known for her mammoth moth sculptures created using all manner of discarded items — from piano keys and slide carousels to license plates and bicycle parts — began reusing trash to make art when she discovered a trove of rusted junk and brittle plastic items in the ravine of a local park, which had once been a dump site.

The eco-artist also has a dual identity as “the Bottle Cap Lady.” In that role, Stitzlein takes her passion for repurposing on the road, presenting residencies all over the country at schools and libraries. During her hands-on residencies, she shows schoolchildren how to transform the humble bottle cap into an art-making material that can be used to create murals, garden ornaments and even jumbo refrigerator magnets.

Stitzlein will have a packed schedule when she comes to Champaign March 1-2 as the Hatch artist-in-residence. On March 1, Stitzlein she will lead a mural-building project at South Side School, organized by art teacher Amy Lozar; exhibit two of her smaller moth sculptures in the Hatch art exhibition at Indi Go Artist Co-op (a free, public opening reception is set for 5-7 March 1); present a slide lecture at McKinley Fitness Center from 7-8 p.m.; and lead a workshop for teachers and other adults at The I.D.E.A. Store on March 2.

Stitzlein, who graduated from the Columbus College of Art & Design, has exhibited her work nationally in many museums and art galleries, including Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery. Several of her behemoth sculptures are on view through October 2013 at the Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, Ohio; other smaller pieces are featured through early March in a group exhibition at the Mansfield (Ohio) Art Center.

She began creating her moth series back in 2003 when she realized that the rust and peeling paints on the junk she picked up from former dump site near her home “might lend themselves to patterns and textures of subject matter derived from nature.” At that same time, she started noticing “more varieties of exotic moths in my own back yard than I ever knew existed… and a series developed.”

“I enjoy the idea that the materials are being recreated anew and that the imagery of a moth, as insect, is also a recreation of the caterpillar.”

Stitzlein also relishes her role as an environmentally oriented art educator. When she takes her show on the road, the message she hopes children will ultimately take home with them is simple:

“Wastefulness is wasteful … for the earth, our wallet and our very souls.”

###

(REPORTERS, EDITORS, NEWS DIRECTORS: For photos of Stitzlein with her work and/or bottle-cap projects, or to contact her for an interview, send email to hatch@the-idea-store.org or call 217-352-7878.)

Merry Treasures year 2! December 7 and 8 at The I.D.E.A. Store

In studios, basement workshops and dining rooms throughout the land, crafty “treasures makers” have been working overtime, preparing their wares for The I.D.E.A. Store’s second annual “Merry Treasures” DIY bazaar December 7-8.

The sale, which runs from 4-7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 8, takes place in the store’s classroom. The bazaar features handmade stocking stuffers and other wee treasures made from recycled, reused and repurposed materials.

Most, if not all, of the dozen-plus vendors are regular shoppers and volunteers at The I.D.E.A. Store, and many of the materials used to make the one-of-a-kind gifts were purchased at the store. Items offered for sale range from practical, functional goods, such as market bags and totes made from recycled packaging materials and curtain panels, to purses created using pop-top tabs and men’s neckties. Other treasures are more whimsical, from redesigned jewelry made with deconstructed costume jewelry, ephemera and even test tubes to assemblage-art pieces featuring costume jewelry; doll parts; candy, food and spice tins; and miscellaneous found objects.

For a preview of some of the items that will be featured at this year’s “Merry Treasures,” check out this promotional video.

The Beer Tasting Benefit at Radio Maria in Champaign!

Join us for “The Beer Tasting” at Radio Maria! Doors open at 6 pm and the tasting begins with the first beer at 7 pm.

How does it work? New beers will be opened, tasted and described every 10 minutes and food will be served at #4 and #9 beers! Plan to stay for 2 hours until 9 pm to work through our 10 special beers – although we have the restaurant until 10 pm to continue experimenting on your own!

Tickets are $25.00 per person and go on sale October 26th. You can buy them at The I.D.E.A. Store or at the door. We will set up an on-line payment link, too – but haven’t gotten that done yet. Your ticket includes (10) 2 oz tastes, a commemorative glass and food for one person. Join us for a really fun evening and help out the store with its mission to save us all from our stuff and help K-12 education here in CU!

Click here to by your tickets today!

The I.D.E.A. Store to ‘hatch’ area’s first creative-reuse festival

Hatch Logo

Contact: Gail Rost, Manager, The I.D.E.A. Store
217-352-7878; gailrost@cuschoolsfoundation.org

When artists and designers take discarded materials destined for the landfill — everything from bottle caps to rusty machine parts — and add their imagination, vision and talent, what hatches from all that is something fresh. The results may be whimsical, or even practical, but are always decidedly, delightfully different and unexpected.

The I.D.E.A. Store, Champaign, Illinois’ premier creative-reuse marketplace, will take that concept of reinvention and reimagination to a whole new level next spring with “Hatch,” a creative-reuse art festival expected to draw participants from throughout Central Illinois and beyond. The festival will take place March 1-3, 2013, in and near downtown Champaign, and will include a juried art exhibition and juried art fair.

Festival organizers are currently seeking creative-reuse artists and designers who wish to be considered for entry into the art exhibition and/or art fair. Artist information and applications are available on the festival website, aboutHATCH.org. The deadline for applying for entry is Jan. 11, 2013.

The festival will kick off from 5-7 p.m. on March 1 at the exhibition venue, Indi Go Artist Co-op, 9 E. University Ave., in downtown Champaign. During the festival, the exhibition will be on view from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 2 and 1-5 p.m. March 3. The show will remain on view beyond the festival dates, through March 17.

Exhibited work — which must consist of at least 75 percent recycled or reused materials – is expected to range from assemblage, collage, jewelry, fiber and paper arts to reimagined decor for home and garden.

The festival’s art fair, set for 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on March 2 in the McKinley Fitness Center gym, 500 W. Church St., Champaign, is expected to host more than 30 creative-reuse artist-vendors who will be selling one-of-a-kind artwork and functional design such as jewelry, wearable art and accessories, collage, mixed media and sculptural work.

Organizers hope to add other activities — possibly a lecture and gallery talk — to the festival schedule as well.

“Right now, we’re hitting the ground running — focusing our priorities on attracting some of the most imaginative, top-shelf creative-reuse artists and designers around to the festival, and hope to fill in a few more auxiliary events as we go,” said The I.D.E.A. Store Manager Gail Rost.

“We’re excited to be able to expand on the work we’ve accomplished at The I.D.E.A. Store in our first two years of operation,” Rost said. “Plus, we’re thrilled to be continuing what we started our first year in business with the “Trash 2011” exhibition at Indi Go.”

Rost, along with co-founder Carol Jo Morgan, launched The I.D.E.A. Store in 2010 as a social earned-income enterprise of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation. Income generated from sales and other programs directly benefit teachers and students in the Champaign and Urbana public schools.

In addition to providing local businesses and individuals with an alternative means of discarding unwanted but reusable materials and making them available at affordable costs to teachers, students, artists, crafters, hobbyists and others, The I.D.E.A. Store staff and volunteers offer workshops and other educational programs, and engage in community outreach activities that emphasize ways to protect the environment, conserve energy and other resources, and reduce the local waste stream.

For more information about “Hatch,” contact festival organizers at hatch@the-idea-store.org or go to: HATCH