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From Garbage to Art; The Power of Recycling

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Ryan at the Fulton Street Artisans Market

Ryan at the Fulton Street Artisans Market /Amber Stout

/Ryan Wyrick

/Ryan Wyrick

A new style of crafting is emerging and local artisan Ryan Wyrick is one step ahead of the curve. For years, Ryan has been using recycled materials and found objects to create beautiful pieces of art. I was able to get the inside scoop as to why he crafts and his reasons behind recycling.

When most people think about artists who craft, they think middle-aged women who knit or paint birdhouses. This is not the case with Ryan Wyrick. Ryan is currently a Grand Rapids Community College student working towards an Associate degree in Photography. When he is not attending school or working, Ryan finds time to craft and create. During the summer he is able to sell his work at local art markets like the Avenue for the Arts Market and the Fulton Street Artisans Market. He has been a vendor at the Avenue for the Arts Market for the past three years.

“It’s really amazing to see such a great community in action,” Ryan expressed during a phone interview, “The Avenue for the Arts Market really knows how to display everyone’s creative side.”

Ryan’s art is not something you would typically find at a craft show. His work ranges from low-priced pins, magnets, buttons, and confetti, to creative postcards, greeting cards, and collaged picture frames. What makes Ryan’s work unique is the source of his materials. Over half of what he creates comes from found objects or items that have been thrown away. Ryan finds his materials in a variety of places, ranging from his old art homework assignments, to the sidewalk outside. Creatively piecing objects together and making them reusable is a challenge, but it’s what inspires him to create such unique works of art.

“Recycling in art has taught me that it doesn’t have to be something new to be amazing and beautiful,” Ryan explains. “You can find something on the ground and easily turn it into something wonderful.”

Ryan’s one-of-a-kind environmentally friendly art can be found online at his Etsy page and Facebook, or at any of the local art markets this summer. 
To meet Ryan in person, head down to the Avenue for the Arts Market on July 10th, 2010 from 4 until 9pm.


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