Art in Society

Learning goals (accompanied by #reflections)

As part of Art in Society I will learn to articulate the forever evolving role of art in the world today. I am interested in learning more about the various contemporary outlets for artistic practice and engagement across cultures.

#I feel more confident in my ability to discuss the transfer of artistic practice and trends in society across platforms of communication. I have a deeper understanding for how art is defined and perceived by my classmates through our discussions and have developed a lens of critical analysis.

I would like to become more familiar with how transmedia resources can directly enhance learning experience. I am interested in illustrating my applied knowledge of these outcomes on my ePortfolio.

#This class encouraged the exploration of different avenues of investigation through a variety of resource materials such as readings, documentary videos, social media platforms, group presentations, and the field guide I created (The Art of Salvage); this class also helped me to see the bigger role arts plays in society and to embrace digital technologies. I am excited to navigate new resources and challenge the definition of transmedia as I build on my ePortfolio throughout my graduate experience. 

I plan to focus my graduate research on artisan co-ops and Fair-trade and would like to use the discussions and presentations in this class to help expose cultural trends and/or myths associated with this research topic.

#This was not a learning goal I was able to explore as in depth as I would have liked to this term, however, I hope to continue my interest in this field. I would like to apply the synthesizing strategies we engaged in during this class to my curiosity by continuing to ask questions, navigate themes presented in the modules, and make connections across platforms of engagement.

For the field guide assignment, I am exited to conduct extensive research on my topic of investigation. I am looking forward to the challenge of presenting my findings to an audience unfamiliar with the subject matter.

#I chose to use document my experience with this research in traditional ways (collecting, notes, photography, site visits) because of the nature of salvage as subject matter , however,  the use of contemporary research tools (videos, blogging, on-line forums)  to create my guide would have presented an interesting challenge.

I am interested in broadening my awareness on the field of arts management through exploration of online resources, creative community partnerships, and by working collaboratively with my peers.

#The Module reflection turned essay/presentation prompt was an interesting way to encourage translations of thought.  My classmate Bea Ogden and I  partnered on a presentation about the Politics of Participation in art/society.  I learned a lot about gauging interest and managing time.


Transmedia Field Guide Project Proposal:

For my Transmedia Field Guide project, I will investigate practices revolving around the Art of Salvage. Let us first enter this art world by considering the origin of the word salvage, a derivative of Latin’s salvare meaning “to save”. Etymologists agree this term was used in context as early as the mid-17th century when the French began offering monetary reimbursements, otherwise known as salvage, for saving a ship or its cargo (Oxford Dictionaries, 2013). The more present usage of the term refers to the actual process of reclaiming discarded material. Salvage, in the context of an art world, still carries connotations of value and rescue. There is an entire network of artists that incorporate salvaged materials into their work – from professional to amateur, educator to experimenter, urbanite to ruralist, and scrap yard fanatic to sculpture garden extraordinaire! Recent evolutions of this art world have even led to the creation of Performance Art groups in which musicians perform on instruments constructed from salvaged materials – “ScrapArtsMusic” in Vancouver, “The Music Box Project” in New Orleans, and the traveling theatrical performance “Stomp” from the United Kingdom.

This Field Guide is designed to familiarize you with the elements of the Art of Salvage by offering practical guidelines on what, where, and how to salvage materials in the name of art. By introducing artists from the Pacific Northwest who utilize salvaged goods in their work, I will bring to light contemporary practices in creative recycling. Located right here in the city of Eugene are several salvage centers promoting educational resources inspired by this unique art world. My personal interest in the Art of Salvage began with my introduction to the folk artists of rural Southern Alabama. As the art educator at a nonprofit museum working within the means of a tight budget, I identified with the re-purposed material works of resourceful folk artists such as Mose Tolliver and Butch Anthony. Contemporary artists represented in the museum’s collection, such as Randy Gachet and Pink Bass, also incorporate salvaged materials into their art. In my own body of work, I enjoy using hard vintage suitcases as the base for sculptural projects and have even built a three-tier chandelier from discarded metal keys.

The art world of salvage is one that can be found in every corner of the earth, from the fabricated toys of Ocean Sole – The Flip Flop Recycling Company in Nairobi, Kenya to the hand-made paper products of India’s recycled paper industry. However, for the purpose of this Transmedia Field guide, my research will focus on a selection of Oregon artists and organizations who work with salvaged materials and scrap recycling centers around the state. I will investigate the salvaged metal creations of Oregon artists Ben Dye and Ken Scott as well as the plastic marine debris sculptures of the environmentally conscious Washed Ashore Project. Recycling centers MECCA and BRING in Eugene as as well as SCRAP and Salvage Works in Portland bring awareness to the multiple benefits of transforming discarded materials into works of fine art. In their efforts to reduce and reuse, these recycling centers provide valuable resources for educators in the form of donated/discounted materials to environmentally conscious lesson plans which incorporate salvaged materials.

Works Cited:

Oxford University Press (2013). Definition of Salvage in English. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from

Art of Salvage Material Recycling Centers in Oregon:

Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts in Eugene –

Bring in Eugene –

SCRAP in Portland –

Salvage Works in Portland –

Schnitzer Steel in Eugene –

NextStep Recycling in Eugene –

Heartwood ReSources –

Art of Salvage Oregon based Artists/Organizations:

The Washed Ashore Project –

Ken Scott –

Ben Dye –

Sitka Center –

The Art of Salvage Performance Artists:

ScrapArtsMusic –

The Music Box Project –

Stomp –

Art of Salvage International Organizations:

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