Cracked Pots Reuse Art Show: Snazzy garden art with a sustainable edge

Cracked Pots artist Terry Powers with some of his creations. (KATU)

One person's junk is another person's art.

That idea will be on display at the Cracked Pots 19th annual Reuse Art Show at McMenamins Edgefield Tuesday and Wednesday.

We spoke with the co-founder of the event, Tess Beistel, and two of the 90-plus artists who will display and sell their pieces.

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If you're thinking about re-using and recycling and making art, a good place to start is down at the Reclaim It! store on North Killingsworth Street.

That's where we met the Cracked Pots co-founder and two of the artists featured at this week's show.

“The goal of it was to get really cool snazzy art for the garden made of out recycled materials. Most of the art that people have in the gardens -- at least 20 years ago -- was kind of boring. It was bought at a store,” Beistel said. “We thought, we don’t want that, we want to have creative, reusable, sustainable materials that become art and that are individual creations.”

That philosophy attracted artist and nursery owner Terry Powers.

Powers likes to weld.

And he likes to find old discarded stuff that speaks to him.

“This one here is motorcycle mufflers,” he explained, pointing to a three-foot fanciful piece. “There’s actually two motorcycle mufflers welded together.

“This was an old heater, electric heater, the element here. And I saw that and I saw a dog.

“This is a birdbath with an old antique, probably implement wheel, with an old phonograph speaker, and we just kind of put it all together.”

Powers has shown his art at all but two of the Cracked Pots art shows.

He will have more than 300 pieces on display for sale, he says, at reasonable prices.

“You get too expensive and you lose a lot of clientele,” he said.

This will be artist Kim Loth's first time at the show.

“I started painting just a couple years ago,” she said. “I literally just got into the recycled art eight months ago. I’m really new to it.”

Her art begins like many others at the show, with found items.

“This is just chicken wire and these are all just scraps of leather,” she said of a piece resembling an American flag.

“This little guy is an old spring,” she said. “I found this little yellow vase, some wire wrapped around and the only thing that is fairly new in here are the little flowers.”

Loth says she came late to art, but encourages others to find their muse.

“It’s never too late to start, it really isn’t,” she said. “And there’s no mistakes in art. I work with kids and I tell them there’s no mistakes, you can put together anything you want.”

The Cracked Pots Reuse Art Show runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale.

Admission is free.

Organizers say this year's show has diverted 20 tons of material that would otherwise have landed in a landfill.

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