Rescued Refuse is an exhibition of artworks by SCA member Shelley Heffler created from upcycled vinyl street pole banners and fence graphics. The City of West Hollywood holds a deep commitment to sustainability and one of its core values is “Responsibility for the Environment.” Sustainability means thinking about our behavior in a global and long-term context, recognizing that the choices we make today have a profound effect on our future. Beginning in 2017, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division began offering used vinyl to artists to divert the material from landfills. This used vinyl was once used to display artwork on fences around the City or to advertise West Hollywood arts events on street pole banners. Artist Shelley Heffler received some of this vinyl from the Arts Division and it inspired her to create an entirely new body of work derived from cutting, slashing, crunching, and weaving these materials into new forms.
Exhibition on view from April 13 through November 29, 2022
West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd
Open during regular library operating hours
My work reflects environmental concerns and addresses what we leave behind on this planet. Our planet is over-saturated with man-made products that cannot be recycled. Among those items are hundreds of vinyl advertising banners whose purpose ranges from attracting business to marking celebrations, to publicizing events. After their use, they are usually thrown away, often finding their way to landfills. Each banner holds its own cultural history. I attempt to encapsulate the significance of the human footprint through the transformation of each banner into works of art that reveal a connection between consumption and environmental waste. These reclaimed billboard vinyls are message boards of societies, conjuring both time and place through a physical presence. Each banner is meticulously hand-cut which fractures the initial image disrupting the central intent of the printed information. Colors are sorted and brought together as weavings, collages, or three-dimensional wall sculptures. As I construct the assorted pieces, images disintegrate into complex abstract shapes and complex color schemes transforming the final piece into a new narrative. I strive to harness the transformative power of art to promote awareness, provoke dialogue, and inspire action.
I am also passionate about public art, and engagement with the community is a key element in my art practice. I have utilized quilt-making to strengthen an identity of various communities and to bring social and cultural change. With the quilt projects, I opened opportunities to stimulate dialogue and participation in particular during the pandemic, and will continue this practice moving forward. My community projects also play into my desire to create an awareness of our environment, our cities, and our place in the world.
Shelley Heffler is a Southern California-based artist. Heffler’s art practice is informed by a passion for maps which began as a young girl navigating the subways of NYC, digital imagery from NASA, topography, and a deep concern for the interconnectedness of the world in terms of human values and experiences. In her words, "My sculptures are about confronting the unsettling engagement of human alterations to land and earth. I am inspired by science and ecological systems that represent an interconnectedness in the world we share." Heffler taught ceramics and fine art for L.A. Unified School District for over 25 years and was an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art and Design. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Heffler has created several community programs. Among those are We Are Home, a collaborative project where 130 quilt pieces were created by the public and auctioned to benefit the unhoused. This project was on display at the Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, California. Additionally, as part of the Artist in Residency at Inglewood’s Rogers Park, she brought the community of Inglewood together with her It Takes a Village quilt project.
"Fantasy 15" and "Fantasy 38" are on display through August in the Faces online art show: https://greycubegallery.com/current-show/index.html
"Fantasy 12" and "Fantasy 22" have been selected for display in the third "Artist's Choice" competition through August. View the show here: https://www.artroomgalleryonline.com/current_exhibition.html
"Fantasy 41", "Fantasy 33", "Fantasy 31", "Fantasy 39", and "Fantasy 15" have been selected for the Keller Prize competition. The show is on display at Aspen-based The Keller Prize Gallery until the winners are chosen in December. https://www.thekellerprize.com/gallery
"Fantasy 33" has received an HONORABLE MENTION in the Open 5 juried competition. See the winners through August here: https://www.artshowinternational.com/winners-2022-open-5
Norm Ellis has been awarded FINALIST for "Fantasy 11", "Fantasy 14", and "Fantasy 17" in the Nature show on display for the month of August. See it here: https://www.galleryring.org/current-exhibition.html
"Fantasy 34" is on display through August at LightSpaceTime Seascapes exhibition. See it here: https://lightspacetime.art/seascapes-art-exhibition-2022-painting-other-media-category/
"Fantasy 16", "Fantasy 20", "Fantasy 26", "Fantasy 11", and "Fantasy 12" have been accepted to display through August in the J Mane Gallery online exhibition: H2O. Check out the show here:
"Fantasy 21" is featured in this portrait show running through August. https://artistspacegallery.com/portrait2022/
"Fantasy 13" has been selected for the Winner's Gallery for the summer competition. The show will be online through August: https://www.artshowinternational.com/winners-2022-abstract-6//
"Fantasy 38" has been selected for the August show - small works, BIG TALENT-2022 - online exhibition. The show starts on August 4th and runs to the 31st. https://www.laslagunaartgallery.com/
Norm Ellis has a solo exhibit and virtual gallery tour, "Fantasy Art" online at Red Bluff Art Gallery.
Norm Ellis was accepted in the ALL Abstract Painting/Drawing online exhibition. Norm has 3 pieces displayed. View the show here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-qkw26x/