Winchester, VA. 9/16/14…Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art has opened at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV), Winchester, Virginia, to present the work of 287 professional artists and art educators from around the world. Each artist whose work is included in the exhibition had accepted a challenge, issued by the nonprofit Landfillart Project, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to make art out of a discarded hubcap or hubcaps.
With the goal of the project being to make a worldwide statement about the creative potential of reusing the world’s resources, the artworks are from every U.S. state and 35 other countries. All are being presented to the public for the first time in this exhibition. With the Landfillart Collection now including more than 1,000 objects, a team of senior faculty members from the Department of Art of Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania, guided the process to select those included in this exhibition. Directing the exhibition’s environmental messages was Woodward S. Bousquet, PhD, Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology and Director, Blue Ridge Institute for Environmental Studies, Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia.
Having opened on September 6 and now on view through March 1, 2015, the MSV-organized exhibition has surprised and amazed visitors of all ages, says Museum Executive Director Dana Hand Evans. Evans notes that Second Time Around has been difficult to adequately describe. Even pictures of the individual artworks fail to capture the impact that their massing achieves in this exhibition, says Evans. “Whatever visitors were thinking when reading the phrase ‘hubcap art,’” she says, “this exhibition has caused them to think again.”
Visitors at the opening of the exhibition seemed to agree, with many saying that they hadn’t known what to expect and were astonished at what they encountered in the exhibition. An immersive experience, Second Time Around surrounds the visitor with colorful objects ranging from those that make social commentaries to others that cause visitors to laugh out loud.
The exhibition’s introductory gallery presents The Raven, a sculpture nearly eight feet high and weighing more than 600 pounds that is dramatically silhouetted against a backdrop of video footage showing scenes of scrapyards. From there, the visitor enters galleries that with creativity and color. Objects are stacked high on walls or hang suspended from them, with numerous sculptures presented on pedestals made of materials reused from the museum’s previous projects. Several objects illuminate or are kinetic, and two were designed to be solar-powered. As one artist observed, the exhibition is not about hubcaps, but instead about the creativity that transformed them and the environmental message they seek to support.
Adding additional interest to the exhibition is an engaging 10-minute film, by Los Angeles film director Larry Carroll, featuring interviews with Landfillart artists and with an original musical score composed by Ravi Krishnaswami.
In addition, Second Time Around incorporates a version of WASTE NOT, part of the Green Revolution “eco-zibit” of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Made available by SITES and is based on an exhibition originally created by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and its Black Creativity Council. Green Revolution explores themes related to the environment and offers activities for the entire family to enjoy together.
Following its exhibition at the MSV, an abbreviated version of Second Time Around is tentatively scheduled to travel nationally under the auspices of Exhibits USA of the Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Second Time Around was made possible in part by funding from Trex and Reader & Schwarz Architects, P.C., with Shenandoah County Q102 serving as media sponsor. Guest curated by Marge Lee of MuseumWord, Fort Myers, Florida, the exhibition was designed by 1717 Design, Inc., Richmond.
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV complex—which includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through October. Admission is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV Members, and thanks to generous sponsorship from Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., it is free to all every Wednesday. Additional information is available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.