Posted by Christina Young on November 3, 2014
When sophomore art major Raul Rodea began drawing on old wood and foam boards from the retail store he was employed at, he didn’t know how it would turn out or compare to his other art pieces.
He knew it was not as professional as a canvas and realized that using these boards turned his artwork into a recycled form, but he was not expecting his new creations to end up in an art gallery. That was until he met with the owner of the Green Buddha Life Sustainability Center and Eco Art Gallery in Aurora last summer.
“When I met with the gallery owner and showed her my portfolio, she liked the ones that included the recycled materials,” said Rodea. The owner explained the significance of the pieces being recycled artwork and told Rodea they would be perfect for the gallery. Rodea’s artwork was then displayed in the Eco Art Gallery in September.
Throughout his experience with the sustainability center and gallery, Rodea learned more about recycled artwork and his interest and passion towards the environmentally friendly pieces grew.
“I’ve always liked trying out new ideas for my artwork, and since this is a form of helping the environment, I believe it has a positive impact,” said Rodea. “I’m also telling my friends who are artists that they too can create recycled artwork which can be helpful for the environment, and I am willing to teach other people how they can create recycled artwork, too.”
Throughout the process, Rodea was able to connect what he was learning during his experience with the Green Buddah Life Sustainability Center to his studies at AU. “In my research writing class, we are writing papers on environment-related topics, including the ecosystem and pollution,” said Rodea. “It’s important that AU is trying to make students more environmentally aware. It’s good to be informed because then you can spread the word to your friends and family about what’s happening and how they can help.”
Rodea hopes to continue to learn about the environment and recycling in his future coursework. “I am looking forward to taking 3D Design next semester, which will help me gain ideas for my plans of doing recycled art sculptures later on,” Rodea said.
Rodea is planning to have more recycled artwork displayed at the Green Buddha Life Sustainability Center and Eco Art Gallery this April for Earth Month.