Reduce. Reuse. Recycle…Revel in wonderful art.

Annalisa Iadicicco will launch her new solo exhibition, Concrete Jungle, with a rocking, rolling and rhumba-ing Opening Reception at Materials for the Arts in Long Island City on Thursday, June 21, from 6 until 9 p.m.

Attendance is free, and as part of the fun, Bunny X will provide something described as “Italo Disco/Hi-NRG/Synthwave” music. Plus, Paul Cimiotti, a Jackson Heights-based electric guitar player who creates calming soundscapes, and atmospheric band Simple Man will perform.

Iadicicco, who grew up in Italy, works with found materials, anything from corrugated metal to rusty nails to car bumpers. For this show, she created mixed-media and sculpture pieces entirely from items donated to Material from the Arts, where she has had a three-month residence. The pieces — which she drilled, screwed and hammered into shape (below photo) — reflect her perception of LIC and the recent changes she has observed in the booming, hotel-and-skyscraper-laden neighborhood.

Some are calls to community action. Others are immersive environments. All inspire dialogue about social issues. Here’s a taste of what’s on display until Sept. 7.

  • “Water Tower,” consisting of a reclaimed garbage bin, plastic wires, copper tubing and an umbrella.
  • “Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers” featuring lamps made out of reclaimed musical instruments.
  • “Tree of Intentions Mixed Media,” a papier-mâché tree with mirrors, flowers, and tree brunches.

Founded long before the Internet Age — and Craigslist — in the 1970s, Materials for the Arts is a reuse center with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and a mission to decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills. Companies and individuals donate unwanted supplies, which the nonprofit then distributes for free to schools and other groups. (Editor’s note: it’s a great place for a theater troupe looking for props.)

Iadicicco also runs The Blue Bus Project, which is – in fact – a repurposed school bus with a distinctly blue hue. Filled with art supplies, she uses it to bring art and art workshops to communities around New York City.

Images: Chris Villafuerte


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