Re-formed!: Found Object Art

At first glance, they might look like the basement findings from an antique shop, collections of scrap metal, and broken furniture, but at closer inspection, the works displayed at the Addison Street Windows Gallery are intricate, thoughtful, clever, and even occasionally functional. Re-formed!: Found Object Art showcases art created by five different Bay Area artists, but all from the same sort of materials – whether they're light fixtures or broken doll parts, they're all fashioned from found objects.

Al Honig's piece "Hanging Out With Art" includes a stuffed polar bear wearing a single motorcycling glove.

These works are definitely more than trinkets cobbled together. Each artist incorporated their found objects in different ways to create entirely new pieces. Helen Holt, for instance, created art from lamp bases and tear-shaped crystals to create functional lamps with themes of mirrors and doubling. Jana Olson's pieces also worked with light fixtures, but included pieces of crockery and kitchenware to fashion unusual shapes, including one lamp that had light bulbs in mason jars. My personal favorite, however, was Al Honig's work. His unsettling piece “What's On Her Mind?” included a picture of an undressing woman inserted into a cage-like enclosure, and the more whimsical “Hanging Out With Art” had a stuffed polar bear wearing motorcycle gloves! All of these pieces were interesting to look at, but I would have loved to know what certain unidentifiable objects were, and the stories behind their discovery.

A mystery metal enclosure traps this picture of a lady in Al Honig's "What's On Her Mind?" Images courtesy of the author.

The Addison Street Windows Gallery is barely a block away from the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station, located between Shattuck and Milvia. True to the gallery name, the art is displayed in windows facing the sidewalk, for passersby to enjoy. To add to the experience, the block offers many artistic forms of entertainment. The Berkeley Repertory and Aurora Theaters are right across the street, and Salvage & Freight Coffeehouse, right next door, offers live music almost every night. Even the sidewalk is paved with plaques of poetry ranging from contemporary rhymes to traditional Ohlone songs. With such a rich location, it's impossible to go solely for the Addison Street Windows Gallery. I'd suggest planning an outing full of creative stimulation and searching out the different kinds of art available for viewing in downtown Berkeley. Unlike more traditional art galleries, the Addison Street Windows Gallery is viewable at all hours of the day, but Re-formed!: Found Object Art is only on display until February 28th, so drop by while you still can!

Yael Levy
BARE Reporter

5 comments:

  1. Did Salvage & Freight finally open? Can BARE do a review?

    (Sorry this comment had little to do with the article!)

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  2. The pieces are very ingenious. They show the level of creativity and concept put into them. Love them.

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  3. Very creative exhibits. It seems like these artist can take just about anything and make it a work of art. I sell decorative wall mirrors, but I do not have this kind of artistic eye.

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  4. It's great seeing how so many different items can be recycled into art, gifts, decorative pieces and such instead of cluttering up landfills. We recycle wine bottles and mason jars into decorative crafts too.

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  5. I agree that these hanging arts are very interesting to look at. There's always a mystery in any art.

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