Curator’s Statement


Family Day

The Crown Jewel by Elizabeth St Hilaire

Exhibition Overview

Escape into your imagination in Junkyard Jungle, where trash becomes treasured artworks that take you on a journey into Earth’s lush rainforests and other wild destinations. The museum’s spring exhibition features art and hands-on activities that teach about the environment around us, the importance of green living for future generations, best practices in recycling and conservation of natural resources.

Featured artists from around the country and the United Kingdom are masters transforming discarded materials into unique artworks highlighting the beauty of our planet’s animal inhabitants.

Planned activities for children of all ages include:

  • Making collages of wild beasts and butterflies
  • Imaginary play as botanists, entomologists, zoologists and ecologists
  • Exploring the black light rainforest
  • Making videos about recycling stories

During this exhibition, we will be collecting plastic bags to recycle into a bench. The collection will take place between Feb. 8 and May 26.

UPDATE: We reached our goal to collect 500 pounds of plastic with the help of our community. We will keep you posted on when we receive the eco-friendly bench donated by TREX®. The bench that the museum will receive is made with HDPE recycled lumber (out of recycled plastic bags) for our visitors to use.


Educational & Art Programs

Hands-on activities in the exhibition are created with science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) concepts in mind. Also, several classes, workshops and “Meet the Artist/Expert” events will be offered.

Curriculum currently in development tentatively will cover topics including sustainability, conservation, responsibility regarding reducing/recycling/upcycling, and the effects of our choices on our environment, animals and people all over the world. These topics will integrate science, social studies, math, engineering, English language arts, technology and the arts.

Artworks will include wall hangings, standing sculptures, and collages that feature/utilize discarded materials and recycled items with a focus on animals and nature themes.

Exhibition activities are aligned with Arizona K-12 Academic Standards for education.


    Exhibition Artists

    The exhibition features 45 artworks by artists from around the United States and United Kingdom. Works include repurposed discarded materials incorporated into paintings, photographs, sculptures, and collages.

    Artists exhibiting include: Rodney Mccoubrey, California; Elizabeth St. Hilaire and Federico Uribe, Florida; Geoffrey Gorman and Susan Skinner, New Mexico; Will Kurtz, New York; Michelle Stitzlein, Ohio; Jud Turner, Oregon; Leo Sewell, Pennsylvania; Megan Coyle, Virginia; Calder Kamin, Texas; and Karen Nicol, United Kingdom.


      Junkyard Jungle Exhibition Sponsors:

      Mesa AZ


      i.d.e.a. Museum
      150 W. Pepper Place
      Mesa, AZ 85201


      Admission: $9/person

      Free for members and
      those under age 1

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