joe’s garage, an art supply exchange on december 8th, 2012

puppet by joe mazza recycled materials for art and nature

Hamm, a puppet by Joe Mazza, was made with many recycled materials. Come to Joe’s garage, an art supply exchange, to find out more and to find materials for your own creation.

Reduce, reuse & recycle– art supplies!

Joe’s garage provides a venue for exchanging art supplies where artists, craft-makers, do-it-yourselfers, teachers and others can bring in the materials they don’t need and take new-to-them materials that they can use.

Looking to pick up some cheap / free art supplies?

Looking to pass on materials that don’t quite do what you expected?

Come to Joe’s garage to swap supplies with other artists, puppeteers, craft-makers, teachers and people who feel crowded by the very materials they try to wrestle into creative meaning– or just really pretty pictures.

Bring art supplies and materials that you don’t need– and pass them on to someone who may find that it’s just the thing to finish a masterpiece.  And search for your missing piece amid the treasures others have shared.

The details

When:  Saturday, December 8th.  drop in anytime from 1 to 4 pm

Where:  the garage at 2505 W. Hutchinson St in Chicago.  That’s near Western Ave, between Montrose and Irving Park Rd.  5 minutes to the brown line/Rockwell stop.  near busses #49/78/80 The garage opens into the alley south of Hutchinson St.

Cost: Free to attend the exchange.  Most materials are free (for anyone who has brought in materials to exchange or who pledges to responsibly recycle or pass on materials when they are done with them) or pay $5 a bag (for people who haven’t brought in exchange materials or choose not to make a pledge).

We expect to swap:  acrylic paint, clay, markers, canvas…. and whatever you choose to share!  (Please don’t bring anything dangerous– and email before bringing anything huge–we’re trying to swap supplies, not store more.)

We know we’ll have:  lumber, fabric, coroplast (that white plastic sheeting used for making signs– but this is all bright white and un-marred by political logos!), latex paint….

Early drop off (and maybe even pick-up) of materials is possible.  Email Susan: ask ~at~ to set something up.

Registration is appreciated:

animalia project is pleased to host Joe’s garage, in collaboration with bangbangfou!, the Global Alliance of Artists/ Environment Xchange and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble.

authors:  Susan Ask and Joe Mazza

transit to trail

Using public transit to explore nature– it’s easy and energy efficient.

train susan ask

take the train to explore nature– it can be easier than driving, especially in rough weather. photo by susan ask

The Chicago Wilderness region is rich in biodiversity and there are diverse conservation areas, forest preserves, parks, restoration projects and beaches to explore.   Most of these can be reached easily by car, but driving—and burning fossil fuels—for the sake of nature study seems counterproductive.  Driving just one mile releases about a pound of CO2 ¹ and releases other pollutants including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates²— all of which can harm nature.  Add to that the environmental cost of road construction and maintenance—and the total cost of driving to a conservation area can seem too high.  Maybe it’s better to stay home.

Fortunately, living in an urban area has the distinct advantage of access to public transportation.  Trains, busses, even the el, can take you to natural areas full of beauty, wildlife, calm and inspiration— without the higher emissions of driving a personal vehicle.  You can cut CO2 emissions by riding the train (using 0.40 pounds per passenger mile), el (0.60 pounds/passenger mile) or bus (0.74 pounds/passenger mile) compared to travelling by car (using 0.96 pounds per passenger mile). ¹

Transit to Trail provides a (growing) list of conservation areas that can be reached by public transportation.  Periodic blog posts, based on the travels of one urban ecologist, will explore some of these natural areas and how to leave a smaller footprint travelling to them.



author:  Susan Ask


¹ US Department of Transportation / Tina Hodges.  2009.  Public Transportation’s Role in Responding to Climate Change.

² US Environmental Protection Agency.  2012.  National Emissions Inventory (NEI) Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data.