Feb 04 2011
Leave it to art students to turn worn-out blue jeans into works of art.
The students are from the San Francisco Art Institute. And they worked with us on a unique case study. The focus? Sculpture and sustainability. The medium? Recycled denim.
Over the course of their four-week intensive, Sustainable Sculpture, the students met and talked with Levi Strauss & Co. experts. We shared what we know about sustainability, the life cycle of our products, denim design and production.
It was an approach that worked well for all involved – the professor, the students, and us.
The results were pretty amazing. The students showcased their works of art in a recent show in the Diego Rivera Gallery on the SFAI campus, and a few of them agreed to share thoughts about their work. Here are some excerpts, along with pictures of their sculptures.
Artist: Heather Riedel
The large piece…was composed of a series of sphere-like forms attached to tiles, which were arranged and hung on the gallery wall. All pieces were made from unfired clay. This piece was inspired by Levi’s sustainability efforts that are committed to take into consideration the whole “life” of what they are producing. Surrogates was created with the “life-cycle” of the piece in mind, after it is dismantled from the exhibit it will be placed into water and repurposed, to be used as clay again.
Title: A Pair of Jeans Metamorphosis
Artist: Mika Boyd
When I thought really hard about a sculpture being “zero product, zero consumption, and zero impact,” the idea came to me. I cut, sewed, and created a simple long black line out of just a single pair of woman’s jeans. I took it out to the public and documented the process. Through the experience, the line became a metaphor for life. Its ever-changing state will never end up being a stop-dead product. It keeps morphing and creating connections between the line, the artist, and the accidental audiences.
Title: Urban Fabric
Artist: Karen Brasier
My project … highlights a set of concrete pillows that functioned as both material studies and finished sculptures. The resulting forms play off the contrasts between soft and hard, domestic and industrial making. During the class, I also constructed two larger denim-formed concrete pieces that functioned as seating. The work was then installed in a high school, finding a “permanent” home out in the community as opposed to a temporary life in an art exhibition. The piece was later vandalized and, then, mysteriously disappeared.
Artist: Jehn Howard
This series of posters and objects is comprised of inkjet prints on Levi's® denim, a spine-function structure that holds large denim pages, and a handcrafted typographic study. Within the poster series, net icons, representing books and forms of digital information dispersion, are used in conjunction with traditional marbled bookbinding patterns. The use of denim as the medium for printing represents a concern for sustainability within the print industry, as to reflect the durability and timelessness of Levi’s® denim. To produce the hand-sewn letters, the thread used was extracted from the original denim source, and was then hand sewn back into the fabric to reinvent Cooper Italic in a non-digital medium.
Posted By: Cory Warren, Editor, LS&Co. Unzipped
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