MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — During what’s been a challenging year, each of us is trying to get more bang for our buck by making things last a little longer. A St. Paul artist is no different. She’s embracing the unusual during an unusual year.
Along West 7th Street in St. Paul, you get a vintage feel, days of old transformed into days of new. Which is why the Center for Lost Objects fits in so perfectly.
The center is exactly how it sounds. Founded by comedian, musician, and artist Amy Buchanan, things that would normally end up at the bottom of a dumpster are getting a second chance.
“This is a culmination of all the arts I’ve practiced to get to practice them all here,” Buchanan said. “It’s kind of like a playground for me of all the tools.”
Years ago Amy began repurposing the unwanted and eccentric. She was also trying to prove a point that things really are built to last.
Among the things she has there are leather chairs made from leather jackets. Furniture, in fact, is her specialty. She combined an old chair with an old Elvis tapestry and turned them into a throne for the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll.
Even creepy dolls get a second chance. Buchanan puts plants in them.
“I got 500 doll heads at once,” she said.
It’s an ironic example of one person‘s trash becoming another person‘s treasure. Ideas walk through her door every day and sometimes she’ll go out and find them herself.
“That’s what I find a lot of are unfinished projects. Unfinished clothing that wasn’t finished sewing. Jewelry that is broken that people save their entire life,” she said.
The earrings are turned into jewelry. Vintage clothing becomes part of a new wardrobe. Even someone else’s black-and-white photographs are repurposed.
“We look for pics of old cars and hay bales. There is a whole hay bale world out there,” Buchanan said.
It’s part of a Twin Cities upcycling push that’s rubbed off on other artists.
“There are little treasures everywhere you glance. Working here is a huge inspiration,” Lily Vanderwood said.
Vanderwood is an art student who works for Buchanan. One of her specialties is giving old jeans a new look.
“We get a lot of art from lifelong collectors, going through their stuff after they’ve passed. And we are living that experience with them,” Vanderwood said.
All while keeping their memories and histories alive.
“It’s just about how your eyes see things. For me, I see potential in everything,” Buchanan said.
She says her upcycling inspiration comes from her late father and grandmother.
Source: CBS Minnesota