Using Recycling as an Artist’s Medium

Some people recycle plastics, glass, cardboard, and paper and put them out in a trash container for a pickup service once a week.

However, Valerie Metz takes some of these items, especially cardboard and all types of paper, and recycles them to create works of art.

Valerie has a B.A. degree in art from Hunter University in New York City and has been using her talents in many ways over the years. Aside from home decorating on a budget, she has entertained the idea of creating various forms of paper art. Her main concentration is generating Southwest cacti and succulent pictures.

With the use of old calendar photos, magazine ads, used coffee filters, cellophane cereal bags, pieces of newspaper, and tea bags, she takes the vivid colors and textures and recreates her own form of art. She started her paper usage many years ago by creating papier-mâché animals. On her craft room wall hangs a huge butterfly made of rolled magazine paper wound around a pencil to construct its wings. On another wall, a pair of male and female papier-mâché owls rests upon a real tree branch limb.

High up on a kitchen cabinet, a life-size black raven perches himself for a “bird’s eye” view of what’s going on. He, too, is made of papier-mâché.

Valerie is also an energetic sewer and sometimes puts a touch of fabric or pieces of thread into her paper art pictures.

Valerie will be displaying some of her creations at the annual SaddleBrooke Arts and Craft Fair on Oct. 28 in the SaddleBrooke TWO clubhouse ballroom, or you can catch some of her works at the Absolutely Art Gallery in Catalina.