Saturday, 10 December 2011

More Junk Art - Get Inspired!

Hello Junk-ers, please take a look at our most recent eco-trash-art discovery.

An artist by the name of Tom Deininger makes these incredible pieces from old bits and bobs of unwanted STUFF.

Visit his website at

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Rrrrribbitt ....

HEY! If you're moving lily pads, keep FrogBox in mind. They are one of our newest and most collaborative supporters! Frogbox gave us a totally rad gift for our annual fundraiser at the King's Head pub - a gift certificate and an awesome jacket!

Frogbox is an innovative and green Canadian small business! They rent out re-usable moving supplies (mostly in the form of green plastic bins - the frogboxes, y'all). They deliver them to you, you pack up all your jazz, move it to your new house, and they will come pick up the empties when you're done and rent them to somebody else! No more hassling with cardboard boxes. In fact, just this morning at the depot I picked up a cardboard box full of hanging-files and the bottom gave out spilling the contents all over the floor! Could've used a frogbox, I think.

Check them out!

Monday, 14 November 2011

November! It's cold outside stay home and make art!!!

It's busy here at the depot ... there is an endless supply of awesome materials to keep your creative engine running!  Come check it out ... we've got a ton of new fabric, and soon to get commercial-sized spools of embroidery thread! The wooden beads are almost gone so get em while you can!
In other news, Spain is certainly reducing their carbon footprint via the magical world of trash art.  Check out the work of Cristina and Gustavo on their cool website CG Reciclado Artistico

If you want to make a beautiful fish like this one .... Come to ArtsJunktion because we've got more plastics than we know what to do with!

Thanks to everybody who came out to our annual fundraising social at the King's Head Pub - it was fun, lots of prizes were won and we raised enough money to keep this place afloat for another good long while!

Visit our website

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fan Art!

Here are some great bags made by loyal ArtsJunktion shopper Marie Mason.  She designed and sewed these bags using repurposed materials found here at the depot.

They are for sale at the depot with proceeds supporting ArtsJunktion.  Thanks Marie for turning unwanted scraps into something so beautiful!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

You can make a living from Junk-Art!

Check out these gorgeous sculptures made from plastic utensils, some selling for $10, 000 a piece!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Stuff Stuff Stuff ... we're stuffed

The world is stuffed

Close your eyes and imagine:
...your pile of unused stuff.

...adding the unused stuff from every house in your neighbourhood. Now your city. Now your country.
...all the factories producing more stuff every second:
...all the people who don't even have what they need and can't afford to buy new or buy at all.
...being a part of the solution instead of the problem.

It's easy. Just take a deep breath, and let go.

Someone will thank you for it. It might even be you.

Monday, 22 August 2011

End of Summer + some more inspiration!

Well, if any of you have visited our depot this summer, you've surely noticed that the concrete interior remains cool despite the sweltering heat we've had! And then, if you stuck around longer than 20 minutes you surely noticed that one heats up quite quickly inside the depot regardless!

Despite the heat, we've had a glorious summer here at ArtsJunktion, thanks to our Green Team summer youth worker, Blue, who has been working on the beautification of our outdoor space and helps with the day to day tidying of our interior! Pictures to follow, of course.

And now for some more recycled art inspirations, check out Clare Graham's website which looks itself like an ode to AJ.  She does things with bottle caps I've never dreamed of!!  There are too many pictures to copy and paste into this blog post but if you have a moment follow the link to her site and browse her awesome art, all from recycled materials!

Bottle Caps from Clare Graham Art

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tupperware: How to recycle into art

Plastics seem to find their way over to the AJ depot fairly frequently. We don't take tupperware, cookie trays, yogurt tubs, etc for a variety of reasons. But now, we've got a project for you if you find yourself in the possession of some Tupperware you no longer want: Jellyfish.

Check out this beautiful picture from James Moulder's blog:

The top portion, the "body" of the jellyfish looks like it might be some sort of plastic bundt cake mold.  I have to say the white, semi-opaque slickness of it lends itself really well to becoming a plastic jellyfish.  The tentacles are made of beads and what looks like lace trim!

Try it yourselves! Be inspired by some unwanted plastic and send us a photo!

Thursday, 4 August 2011


I post this with the best of intentions, as I know that yarn can be a hard commodity to secure around here! (in other words, the insane popularity of yarn never seems to cease!)

But I just had to share this and HEY if you are addicted to both crafting and minimalism, this could be the answer. Spend all your time crocheting like mad and then leave it somewhere outside your house!

Any way you slice it, Guerilla Crochet is just brilliant and definitely provides a little chuckle. Check it out on Street Art Utopia!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Collaborative Consumption: It's on the rise!

It is one of Time magazine's "Ideas that will change the world", collaborative consumption is the new way for everybody.  Community-based sharing is what its all about and we at ArtsJunktion know that better than anybody!

Check out the website and the book for an educated approach to dumpster diving and get sharing!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Upcoming Workshop: All are invited

Our allies at W.R.E.N.C.H have extended an invitation to their non-violent conflict resolution workshop.  Please read the following:

Saturday August 6
Non Violent Communication and Conflict Resolution Workshop - This workshop will be lead by Karen Ridd. 
Bike shop volunteers find themselves dealing not just with mentoring and teaching people - but also with some tricky interpersonal situations.  Karen Ridd will lead a hands-on, participatory workshop that gives volunteers tools and techniques for verbally de-fusing people, and for resolving conflict.  The focus will be on practical skills and practise, using real life scenarios that volunteers have encountered to add to peoples' existing skills.  Karen Ridd teaches in the Conflict Resolution Studies programme at the University of Winnipeg: she has worked with grassroots organizations for years, including human rights work in Latin America, community capacity building in Southeast Asia and First Nations communities, and living in inner-city Winnipeg.  

Participants in this workshop will gain tools, techniques and skills, and will do hands-on practise for:
- defusing high tension situations and
- dealing with intra-organizational and interpersonal conflicts
Participants will develop and hone their communication skills for effective conflict resolution

2:00 - 5:00 PM at the United Way Building main floor 580 Main St. 

If you'd like to confirm your attendance at this workshops, we'd love to know you are coming so please RSVP.
Contact us at or 296-3389 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Art can be made from ANYTHING

James Franco has been called a Renaissance Man lately, as he has been active in not only movie-making but also visual art and higher education.  Recently, he has sold "the idea of art" for $10,000 to a Canadian woman in Montreal. 

The following is a story that exemplifies another use of some very non-traditional media.  This story is copied from Mike Doughty's blog, waaay back in 2006.

I'm walking through Union Square en route to meet Scrap, and there's a Japanese girl sitting at a card table with a sign: "Give Me Your STRESS for My ART."
I stop. How do I give you my stress?
She pushes a card and a pencil towards me and tells me to write down what's stressing me out. I write Judgement of my music.
She draws the outline of a bird-fish over my handwriting, and then fills in the space around it with blue; paints the bird-fish yellow; gently flicks white paint over the picture; affixes a little heart sticker over the word music, the faint outline of which is the only word left visible.
She hands me the card. Do I owe you something?
"I accept donations."
I get ten bucks out of my wallet.
"That's too much," she says.
No, that's OK, it's not so much for me.
She smiles and thanks me. "You don't take it home," she says.
I'm confused.
"You take the art home, but leave the stress."

There. Now if people can make art out of ideas and stress, you can certainly try your hand at using some junk!  Come on down to AJ and try it for yourself.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Styrofoam: Part 2

So the planets aligned and after the enthusiastic response to my earlier post on styrofoam, about a million people donated it to us.  Now we have this styro-corner at ArtsJunktion and it beckons to the creative crafters out there!

I just got word that more is on the way, so I will offer up one last image as inspiration for all of you resourceful people.  If you aren't keen on putting a life-size styro T-Rex in your living room, try this tasteful wall art. Talk about conversation piece.  You can brag to your friends about how you turned the packaging from your end table into the wall art that hangs behind it. How about it??

Monday, 4 July 2011

WHAT I MADE: testimonial from an AJ first-timer!

Beautiful people of Winnipeg, here comes our next recycled-artist. Meet Shelley who recently us and was instantly inspired!

Here's what she has to say: 
"I just discovered ArtsJunktion last week.  I came in and picked up a few things, and I wanted to show you what I've made so far with the items I picked out.  All three of these are painted on old 5.5" floppy diskettes ... The plan is to use these as mail art - write a name and address on the back, slap a stamp on it and see how far it gets. 
Thanks for what you're doing.  I think it's amazing!!"

And the best part is what Shelley's kids had to say:
"Now my kids are mad I didn't get more so they could play too - so I'll probably be back to pick up half a dozen more."

See!? Resourcefulness just inspires more resourcefulness! Come to AJ and share your own creations!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Styrofoam: It's not all bad

Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene to people with English accents, is notoriously trashy.  It doesn't biodegrade and it has practically no use other than sandwiching your new DVD player and all of its individually packaged parts into a cardboard box.

While this function is of course, very useful when shipping items of a delicate constitution, it is hard not to hate Styrofoam once your DVD is set up and you have no further use for it. Scattered on your living room floor, you curl your lip in disdain as the white blocks of foam stare back at you, taunting.  Now, you have to "deal with it". 


We get a lot of Styrofoam at AJ.  And I think it's time we started to consider the uses and re-uses of our most despised un-recyclables (I'll talk about VHS tapes another time.  There's a lot going on there.)  Styrofoam, in capable hands, can be a most malleable substance.  Perhaps some of you will relish the challenge of making your best art with your worst enemy.

The following are inspirational sites and images to help get you started:


And is all the gossip around the water cooler boring you, and you find yourself searching for deeper meaning? DOODLE on your Styrofoam cup.


And if you purchase a lot of appliances, do your part and go for something .............. bigger.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Event of the Year!! Art Auction

Okay, the second annual Art Auction Fundraiser is tomorrow starting at 6:30pm with our AGM, then 7:00 for a viewing, and the LIVE auction at 8:00.

Please come on over to 312B William Ave, it is shaping up to be a really fun evening in support of an excellent cause!

Friday, 27 May 2011

"Creative Eco-Design" from CultCase

Whatever you call it, creative eco-design, Trashion, aesthetic re-junking (my personal favourite), Junk-art is here to stay!

CultCase has provided a great collection of concepts in their article here.

It seems that recycled art is turning into a natural descendant of the formerly radical "found art". When I look at some of these pictures from cult case, I can't help thinking of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to create "modern art" by sticking a bunch of shovels and rakes into semi-dried cement. Of course, the artists featured on CultCase are doing much much better than our dear Homer!

"Vacuum cleaner Forest" is most certainly my favourite from this article. Whats yours?

**Don't forget!! ArtsJunktion is now closed on Saturdays until the fall!

Monday, 9 May 2011


"Everything has a second life ... it has more character that way"
*see Seattle Times article 

It seems rescuing junk is becoming more prominent on people's minds all over the world.

As we make an effort to be conscious of the fate of every little thing we might previously have thrown away on auto-pilot, creativity flows and determines a new destiny for our most beloved rubbish.

Our crap-comrades in Seattle celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Seattle RE-Store Trash Fashion Show in April, featuring catwalk creations made from typically undesirable refuse.

Michael Cline

It looks like the Seattle RE Store is leading the way in eco-salvaging. Their website is definitely worth a look, especially the galleries of their annual juried recycled art show.  Here's hoping Winnipeg follows suit!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Recycled Birthday Invites!

I am so proud of Winnipeg for thinking of ArtsJunktion first when they are about to embark on a creative project!
If you have made something with AJ materials, please send your photos and story to and I will happily feature you on our blog!

Check out the invitations that this earth-friendly family made for their child's birthday party:

I admit their graphic design skills are enviable. Props for turning an unwanted file folder into something pretty darn cool!

Says our AJ 'shopper':
I thought I'd share these Birthday invites my son and I made for his 7th birthday.
I took some file folders from ArtsJunktion, trimmed them to letter size, designed and printed the invites! Simple! And the envelopes are of newspaper.
Thank you guys for putting forth a great service!

Now, if you are inspired, come to AJ and get to work! We have an entire shelf of used greeting cards. Many are blank, and many are quite old and rare. If you have a party coming up, why don't you make your own invitations using our selection of cards?

Monday, 25 April 2011

AJ Project: Hand-bound books

Laura, the Prairie Peasant, sent us a link to her lovely blog and some pictures of a beautiful hand-crafted book that she bound using ArtsJunktion materials.

Behold, a former car dealership calendar, transformed into the affectionately named "Cotton Candy Journal":

ArtsJunktion commends Laura for turning the unwanted trash of this world into a work of true beauty!

Laura documents her creative adventures on her Prairie Peasant blog, which can be found here.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Spring is on the way

Barring our recent blizzard (and let's just pretend that never happened), spring is on the way in Winnipeg.

I love coming to work at our exchange district depot and hanging out in this historic building.  The beautiful brick facades, the fire escapes and the large windows give this area such a unique look. As the exchange sees more and more of its buildings morphing into beautiful loft condos, I offer this article from to our ever-growing urban neighbourhood.

Pallet gardens are looking like a wonderful way to maximize small space and still bring a little green into your life!

We've got a couple of pallets kicking around the AJ depot, so maybe when the weather improves once and for all we can give this a try too!

Monday, 11 April 2011

RHCC March Break Project: TRASH-O-SAURUS!

The kids at River Heights Community Centre spent their March break learning a thing or two about trash!

Behold, the mighty Trash-O-Saurus, rescued from extinction in the landfill!  He was brought to life using salvaged supplies from Arts Junktion!

Way to go River Heights!!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Volunteering at ArtsJunktion

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~Margaret Mead

ArtsJunktion runs smoothly thanks to the tireless work of many dedicated volunteers. We are always looking for new volunteers so if you have some spare time and the desire to do some good in your community, drop in on us during open hours and work with us!

This story comes from new volunteer Ruth:

Tucked around the corner from Cre8tery Gallery and Art Supply store at 312B William Avenue in the Exchange District of Winnipeg is ArtsJunktion Recycling depot.

I've told you about them before. As a reminder they are a non-profit art supply recycling depot. Centred around recycled supplies of all types for teachers, artists and the community.

K2 and I spent a few hours volunteering there on Saturday. She still needed a few more hours towards her
Holocaust trip and I thought this was an organisation we could both go and support.

Chloe, the depot manager is super friendly and helped us settle in quickly by letting us pick an area we wanted to clean up and organise the displays. K2 quickly gravitated toward the yarn and sewing notions which were a big tangled mess. She's always untangled these types of messes for me and has more patience than I do!

We had fun and found a few treasures for ourselves while we were at it.

It was interesting to see how busy the depot is on a Saturday. People were constantly coming and going with donations or making selections. Their system has people noting the cubic feet of donations and withdrawals and it's so great to see so many unwanted items being saved from going to landfill.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Now THAT'S recycling!

Check out the Recycled Crafts section of for some amazing free-cycle art ideas, including this cat bed made from an unwanted computer monitor!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Find the Perfect Match!

Every now and then we make the perfect pairing! Like choosing the ideal wine to compliment your meal, finding the exact piece of "junk" that you need is pretty satisfying!

For example, this story comes from volunteer Geri:

"Several months ago we were given boxes and boxes and boxes of those long foamie strips (see Fig. 1).  Not too many people are interested in them and they stuck around for months.  When I was working at AJ on Monday, about half an hour  before closing time a young grade 3 teacher came in for the first time.  She spent awhile looking and as she was leaving I asked her if she managed to get some stuff that she could use.  She looked a bit downcast and said.....only a bit.  Then she said she is doing sculptures with her grade 3 class and didn't know what to take so she hadn't taken hardly anything.  I showed her a box of the foam strips and showed her how her students might use them and her face lit up and she was really excited.  She took 5 boxes of them!  I asked her if she would send pictures of her students' art once they are done.
I felt really good because I was able to pair her with some junk that was perfect for her project."

Fig 1: Long Foamie Strips (foamius stripianus)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Featured Item: Egg Cartons

Check out Cult Case who have profiled artist Enno de Kroon and his creative ways of using egg cartons!

There is always a way to use the un-usable!

Take a look around and consider what beautiful art can be made from things otherwise destined for the rubbish bin!

Come down to the depot, we have egg cartons!!!!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Junk into Art

What kinds of art can you make with unwanted scraps, flotsam and jetsam, bits and bobs, etc?
The possibilites are endless!

Images are from, a great website about turning junk into art! Check it out!

What have you been creating with your ArtsJunktion treasures? Email pictures to

Monday, 7 March 2011


Welcome to the new ArtsJunktion Blog!

Check back here for day-to-day updates and stories from around the depot!