Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dumpster Divers swimming into mainstream

It's not that the artists have changed their attitude or output - rather, society seems to finally be catching up with the Divers. This is evident in the title of their newest exhibition, which opens tomorrow and runs through Feb. 10th: "Upcycling Trash to Treasure."

Dumpster Divers swimming into mainstream

Detail from the Upcycling Trash to Treasure poster.
Detail from the Upcycling Trash to Treasure poster.

It's been a while since we caught up with the latest goings-on of Philly's Dumpster Divers, the collective of artists who make cool stuff out of found objects and other throwaway elements. You may recall their previous awards banquets,  the first South Street gallery,  the second South Street gallery and other endeavors.

Partially, the lack of E2P coverage is because we just weren't posting as frequently in 2012. But another factor is that this "fringe" group of "offbeat" creative types has, over the past few years, been mainstreamed.

Not that the artists have changed their attitude or output - rather, society seems to finally be catching up with the Divers. This is evident in the title of their newest exhibition, which opens tomorrow and runs through Feb. 10th: "Upcycling Trash to Treasure." All along the Divers thought they were just creating fun and/or useful objets d'art out of trash - turns out they were "upcycling!"

To go along with the trendy term, the blurb on the site of the Main Line Unitarian Church (816 South Valley Forge Road, Devon) which is hosting the show, explains that "the environmental impact of reused materials is

'Ecologically Correct,' but it is through their diverse visions that the Dumpster Divers make a large impact. Transformation of society's trash to create meaning and beauty is achieved through the eyes of these artists. Their artwork is as diverse as the group and materials used, all of it engaging, often playful, sometimes political, ironic, and definitely captivating!"

Can't really argue with that. If you didn't get a chance to stroll through their previous galleries or shows, might be worth a jaunt out to Devon. There's a public reception tomorrow (Jan. 5) from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m featuring

talks from the artists. Regular gallery hours are 9:00 to 4:30 Mon thru Fri and 9:00 to 2:00 on Sunday. You can find more info at

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

    Earth to Philly
  • Latest Health Videos
    Also on
    Stay Connected