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New Fun Fest event tests participants’ resourcefulness

Rebekah Wilson • Jul 6, 2013 at 5:38 PM

For the first time, as a part of Fun Fest, regional artists will combine their resourcefulness and creativity in the inaugural ReArt contest at the Holston Habitat ReStore.

Recycled art is becoming increasingly popular around the world as creative minds see the potential in the growing abundance of unwanted products. By folding, bending, warping, combining and melting materials together, artists convert junk into purposeful and beautiful concepts.

The advent of new media and fashions each decade creates a surplus of CDs, televisions, fabrics, furniture, cassette tapes, chords, wires, plastics — the list goes on and on.

Using only materials from the ReStore, each participating artist will assemble a unique work of reclaimed art, with Fun Fest patrons as their judges.

Votes may be cast during the competition and throughout the nine-day festival at the ReStore or at the Fun Fest store in the Kingport Area Chamber of Commerce at 400 Clinchfield St. Votes may also be cast on the ReStore’s Facebook page until noon, July 20.

Artist introductions will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 13 and the final buzzer will sound at 2 p.m.

Participants have selected materials from the store and will have access to additional supplies during the event.

Artists will work outside in a shaded arena.

“The participating artists understand that what some people consider waste is both an artistic opportunity and functional resource,” said ReStore Manager Milburn Lane.

Lane selected participants based on their willingness to work in this environment and their previous ReArt experience. All contestants engage in ReArt either as a hobby or for a living.

Contestants include Patti Lawrence, Christy Johnson, Terry Van Deraa, Jennifer Martin, Elaine Jones, Heidi Brannen and Barbara Bell.

Some will make glass or wood sculptures and others will take a more two-dimensional approach.

Everyone will get a certificate of participation, and winners will get additional certificates and ribbons.

The winner will be announced at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 20.

The purpose of the event is to provide exposure to the work of Holston Habitat for Humanity and to introduce the practice of ReArt to the community.

It also spotlights local artists and allows the community to watch them at work.

The ReStore generates funds to build Habitat for Humanity homes in the Tri-Cities and helps provide affordable housing and gently used home improvement materials to families in need. It also provides a location to donate appliances and building materials to prevent waste and give back to the community.

For more information, call (423) 378-4760.

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