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Artists recycling at MOCA: ‘Material Transformations’ opens Saturday
Paul Villinski was working Tuesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art installing “Burst,” an assemblage of bird figures he made from vinyl record albums. It’s part of “Material Transformations” MOCA’s next exhibition.
“Life Psychotic II,” Johnston Foster, 2009, mixed media found materials.
Recycling, re-using and challenging the concepts of the modern material society are some of the themes associated with "Material Transformations," a new exhibit opening Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery, Ala., and MOCA, the exhibit features seven artists who specialize in manipulating common objects and materials to create new objects and installations.

Artist Paul Villinski from New York City is showing his creations of butterflies made from crushed aluminum cans and birds fashioned out of vinyl record albums.

He created his first birds from recycled albums after Hurricane Katrina, when he found warped and abandoned record albums in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. In "Burst," one of his works in the exhibition, Villinski added an autobiographical element by using albums from his own collection.

"I'm interested in taking materials that appear to be worthless and transforming them into something of value. In this case, artistic value," he said. "Taking material that has been cast off by society and turning it into something of beauty is an exploration of what's possible."

Recycling materials appeals to Villinski's conservation and environmental instincts.

"As an artist, I've always felt there is enough stuff in the world. I don't need to add more stuff," he said.

Villinski is joined in the exhibit by artists Angela Ellsworth, Alison Foshee, Johnston Foster, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Rune Olsen and Lucretia Troncoso.

The museum has scheduled a series of related programs to complement the exhibition.

"Waste Land," a documentary about artist Vik Muniz, will be screened in the MOCA Theater at 7 p.m. Feb. 20. The film follows the development of a series of portraits made from trash discarded in a 321-acre landfill in Brazil.

In conjunction with Jacksonville Fashion Week, MOCA has scheduled "Material Alterations" from 5-9 p.m. March 5. Student groups from local middle and high schools and colleges are designing fashions made from recycled materials.

Their creations will be judged by a panel of fashion industry experts and selected designs will be featured at MOCA during the March First Wednesday Art Walk.

Foshee will present a one-day mixed-media workshop at MOCA for adults who wish to work with the artist and craft an original piece of art.

Museum patrons will preview "Material Transformations" at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a members' preview at 7 p.m. The exhibition opens to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit mocajacksonville.org.

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