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Courtney Adair Johnson at MBA (in their trash)

Montgomery Bell Academy


March 4th to April 2nd 2015

Opening Reception

March 4th from 5 pm to 7 pm

Next time you see a trash can, look inside.


You will find paper, plastics, food, and metals, all valuable resources thrown haphazardly away.  But where is “away”?


The truth is that there is no “away.” Natural resources are deemed disposable by society. We use these items once, and then we toss them. Styrofoam coffee cups are “disposable,” in that they either sit in a landfill for 400 years or are burned and float around in our air polluting our lungs. Yet we keep producing them, buying them, and using them, and the cycle continues.


It’s time to reexamine what we are doing.  Awareness and adaptability are going to be our key turning points for a zero waste world.  And it starts with you and art.


Working completely in reuse challenges me to adapt to available materials that can be sourced.  I think of the environment first when creating, endeavoring to open up the awareness of our consumption habits and make recycling and repurposing visible. I re-work substances that have been 

abandoned or thrown away.. From there, I experiment with different applications: mono printing, book arts, patterns, or drips; but I always come back to the basic sourced materials of paper, board, and plastic.


Looking at the material that comes through our hands on a daily basis can help us see ways to cut down on waste. By sourcing material from the school’s refuge, I will re-display it as a resource, a material with potential and value.  It will become useful and desirable again. It is my hope that our future lawmakers, doctors, and teachers will learn from this show and examine their own attitudes and practices about waste.



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