A Look at the Rise and Popularity of Recycled Art Materials

A Look at the Rise and Popularity of Recycled Art Materials

Metal recycling, like all forms of recycling, is the process of making new and useful what was once considered old and useless. It teaches us the importance of principles like conservation and resourcefulness, and shows us recognizable forms and shapes are possible with a bit of ingenuity and hard work. It’s no wonder, then, that the alternative art community has been so drawn to idea of working with recycled materials, especially scrap metal. In this brief post we’ll examine the popularity of recycled art materials and also provide a few helpful tips for artists interested in working with recycled materials.  

Response to Consumerism and Unsustainability

Although there is no definitive start date of the recycled arts movements, its rise can be traced back to the 1960s/1970s and the counter culture’s attack on consumerism and unsustainable business and manufacturing processes. Recycled art held a mirror up to the country’s wasteful behaviors and shed light on the importance of recycling.

A Critique of Art Itself

In some regards, the recycled art movement has also been fueled by the movement against mainstream art in the decades following WW2. The recycle movement proves that “classical” thoughts regarding art are in fact constrictive of real creative thought.

How to Get Started

One of the most appealing aspects of recycled art is that it doesn’t take much to get started. Virtually anything can be recycled, repurposed, and reshaped to fit the artist’s vision. Donation centers are a great place to find materials, and so are metal recycling facilities

Tucson Iron & Metal is proud to support the recycled art movement by providing artists with an incredible selection of scrap metal and other salvaged materials. Visit our metal recycling facility in Tucson from 6:30 to 8:00 am on the first and third Saturday of each month to celebrate our Artist’s Paradise event. If you have any questions about buying scrap metal for your next art project, please call us at (520) 884-1554.