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Monday, April 15, 2013

Re-Store There's More

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore gallery

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The towering sign fronting ReStore, a space at 420 S. First St. that benefits Milwaukee’s Habitat for Humanity, says they feature various new, used and vintage items. Who knew that inside, tucked into a northern corner, is a small gallery featuring art made from recycled ReStore materials?

Sustainability is the store’s mantra, and with Earth Week upon us, check out the funky offerings of 27 locals who made something out of almost nothing. For example, an independent contractor by the name of Mark Rider created Toilet Monster, a garish royal flush conglomerate of blue ceramic tiles embellishing a genuine toilet. In a far simpler approach, MIAD student Megan Tran used black marker on a blonde cabinet door to create her cartoonish Fishy Fun. In another area is Janet Fischer’s Bullwinkle, cobbled from nuts, bolts and scrap metal.

Five winners were selected by popular vote to receive ReStore shopping sprees ranging in value from $50-$250, prizes that will take you quite a distance at this value-conscious store. Jake Brandt, the store’s fun manager and a UW-Whitewater guy with marketing on his mind, came up with the gallery idea as a way to promote the non-profit Habitat for Humanity.

Gallery Night & Day (April 19-20) is here, so put this spunky, sensible place on your route, and yes, the plus is free parking adjacent to the store, which is great considering how much time can be wasted circling the Third Ward during this quarterly event. Brandt notes that not everyone in the wee gallery of weird stuff is an “artist.” What a refreshing thought, and of course, not every venue for exhibiting art is a “gallery,” in the formal sense of the word.

ReStore’s “Fourth Annual Recycled Art Contest” will be featured during Gallery Night, Friday, April 19, from 5-9 p.m. The winning artworks will then be transferred to the ReStore West location (3015 N. 114th St., Wauwatosa) for an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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