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Trash + Bottle = Art? It’s More than That! © by KC Moore

July 13, 2011
4 of the 400 Looza Bottles

4 of the 400 Looza Bottles

It’s been said one man’s trash is another man’s treasure; in a twist of occurrences, this has now become art as well.

Ashland artist Margaret Garrington, is opening a show entitled ‘PURPOSE: REPURPOSE’ which runs from July 15th to August 26th. The venue is the Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene, Oregon, located at 1910 E. 15th Avenue.

Her installation is part of an art show with the theme of repurposing trash.  The idea developed years ago when she purchased a bottle of juice – the LOOZA brand.  She bought it for the bottle and in turn enjoyed the exotic juice.  When finished she didn’t want to recycle the lovely shaped bottle and kept it on the counter.  She then started putting little pieces of trash in it. It all started with some teabag covers and then tea bag tags.  She was influenced by her memory of an artist who used old tea bags as her art medium and recalled how wonderful it looked.

4 more Looza Bottles

4 more Looza Bottles

Margaret states she loved the iconic form of the LOOZA bottle, and only later learned it had won a prestigious design award in Europe in the 1970’s.  She is very aware of current-day ecology issues and, over time, her vision solidified about making a statement about waste in an art installation.  Initially Margaret envisioned 100 bottles all filled with detritus, but realized she could not accomplish this by herself.

She started asking others to participate.  Basically, people were asked to clean and fill the bottle with one kind of product they ordinarily throw away.  There was considerable community involvement and each bottle came back with very creative combinations.

A life-long art student, Margaret started to recognize textbook art forms like abstract expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and minimalism being played out in the bottles.  “Every bottle was different and cool at the same time” she says.

As Margaret invited others to join in, she often got the response “I’m not an artist” or “I’m not creative”.  However, when people returned the bottle they reveled in the creative process in which they had participated…they were proud of their accomplishment.  Margaret surmises creativity is universal and, given a challenge, each of us will find it in ourselves.

Momentum on the project started growing and Margaret contacted PepsiCo who donated 140 bottles of juice.  She distributed these for free asking takers to return the bottle filled with one kind of trash.  The Belgium Company, LOOZA, was of course enthusiastic and supportive.

The LOOZA BotttleProject makes an artistic statement as well as a critique on what we throw away…our modern day consumerism and consumption.

Incidentally, the project now boasts a total of 400 bottles.    Contact KC Moore at:

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