24 January

See What You Have Done: Upcycle Art, A Manifesto For The Earth. The Bishop Gibbons Artists And The Army Of Good Present Their Work And Vision At A Big Art Show Friday

by Jon Katz

This Friday, the art students at Bishop Gibbons exhibit their work in person at the Diocese Of Albany Catholic  Schools Art Exhibition at the Empire State Plaza this Friday. This is a momentous achievement for them and the Army Of Good, which has made this work possible.

Sue Silverstein met with her students and created a manifesto about the work her students and the Army Of Good have been doing in every part of the country for several months. This is also a reminder that blogs and modern technology can be used for good as well as selling things and arguing. Their invitation to this exhibition is a recognition of their original and very powerful work.

The art students call their work “Upcycle Art,” defined as a new kind of environmental art. This work, explains Sue, is defined as “reusing” (discarded objects or materials) to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

“The students,” wrote Sue, “have been blessed with donations sent from all over the United States thanks to a literal “Army Of Good” people who have responded to our calls for help finding materials. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons students have created many projects to be seen on display with these found treasures.”


Above all, Sue is a remarkable teacher and an amazing human being.

We are committed to making beautiful works of art,” she says, “from things others are “ready to repurpose. With donations of fabrics, found metals, jewelry, yarns, pinecones, feathers, patterns, broken pottery, canvas, papers, and so much more…these young artists have created some extraordinary works of art.” This, she added, would not be possible without the donations of so many good people.

There are politicians in America who can’t wait to ban or discourage this original, creative, honest, and personal art and education, even though it is not political. Art teachers in our educational system are fighting for their art classes as sports budgets increase and art classes are discarded.

What a privilege it has been for me to see the beautiful things these young people are making with the help of the many repurposed donations they are getting from just about everywhere and that come to the school almost every day (the school, for those with any of these, repurposes objects, has this mailing address: “Sue Silverstein, Bishop Gibbons High School,  2600 Albany Street, Schenectady, N.Y., 12304.)

Sue is a magician. She and her students will turn almost any discarded object into art. That is what Upcycling is. Thanks for your support, and please, please, keep those boxes coming. On Friday, I feel we will all be there in spirit on Friday.


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