Members of the Cable Car Wash team put the finishing touches on their sculpture in the 2011 Junk 2 Genius competition at the Davis Art Center. There's still time to sign up for this year's contest, which takes place Friday, Sept. 14. Courtesy photo


Turn trash into treasure at Junk 2 Genius contest

By Tiva Lasiter

Sign up your group now to compete in Junk 2 Genius 2012, the Davis Art Center’s fourth annual “sculpt-off” in which participants race against the clock to create quirky, unique art out of trash.

A fundraiser for the Art Center, the event is a great bonding experience and a fun, creative way for businesses, schools and other organizations to encourage teamwork and camaraderie among members.

At the event, each team receives a box of similar recycled items — donated metal, fabric and computer, bike and auto parts — and churns out elaborate sculptures based on an announced theme.

In the past, teams have crafted mermaids, rock bands, bicyclists, gardeners, ships, landscapes, sea creatures and more — all the while with their eyes on the prize: the illustrious “Trophy du Trash,” which is awarded to the winning team by a panel of judges.

Onlookers have just as much fun as the artists, enjoying food, beer and wine for purchase while rooting on their favorite team and casting votes for the People’s Choice Award, won last year by University Retirement Community for its piece, “Faces of Retirement: We Are the Wonders of the World.”

Betty Pearson, president of URC’s Resident Council, took part in the event last year and said, “We had a marvelous time and we loved getting ready for it. We all wore URC T-shirts and because we were such an obvious presence, it sort of got the URC out in the public and gave people a good and different picture of what a retirement community could be.

“We were out and about and having fun.”

There’s still time to get involved! The Art Center is accepting up to 15 teams, with a maximum of 10 members age 13 and older per team. For more information about sponsorships, visit www.davisartcenter.org/JunkToGenius or contact the Davis Art Center at [email protected].

Junk 2 Genius — presented by the Art Center in partnership with eco-art nonprofit reCREATE of Roseville — takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at 1919 F St. All sculptures created at the event will be on display Sept. 17-28 in the Davis Art Center’s Tsao Gallery.

Last year, Morse Remodeling Inc. nabbed the trophy with its colorful sculpture representing Mother Nature. In 2010, Gold Standard Diagnostics caught the judges’ attention and won the prize with a mermaid sculpture that incorporated a working bubble machine.

For Morse Remodeling, which has taken part in Junk 2 Genius for the past two years, the friendly competition has become a company tradition.

“It’s a fabulous team-building activity as well as a ton of fun,” owner Marty Morse said last year.

As of June 22, sponsors participating in this year’s Junk 2 Genius are BTV Development LP, Comstock Mortgage, Davis Healthcare Center, Davis Food Co-op, Morse Remodeling Inc., Pacific McGeorge and Suzanne Kimmel.

In addition to promoting the message of reduce, recycle and reuse, Junk 2 Genius raises funds to support Art Center programs. In 2011, the event raised more than $5,000.

— Tiva Lasiter is the publicity and program intern for the Davis Art Center. Her column appears monthly.

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