In the last decade, we Americans have witnessed a surge of renewal. As a nation, we are trying to renew our democratic political system, our economy and especially our environment. As former vice president Al Gore has famously brought to our attention the threat of global warming and rapid climate change, American citizens are beginning to see the errors in their over-indulgent ways, and they are really trying to change. This shift toward a more ecologically sound lifestyle includes the production of art, crafts and household items, that add elements of interior design to a home as well.
This is how the new green arts movement has begun to take shape, quietly, over the last decade, along with many other environmentalist movements. The green arts movement can be seen as a revival of earlier twentieth century arts and crafts movements that took place during the Great Depression era. In other words, it is a shift away from the commerce-oriented gallery art, that is devoid of function and inaccessible to almost everybody except for an extremely wealthy, elite class of people. Instead, green artists craft functional items that double as art. This functional art includes the hand-crafting of clothing, dishware, furniture, clocks, and many other household items made from recycled, organic and sustainable materials.
Yet another important part of the green art movement is the importance of interaction between the artists and the people who buy their work. For instance, street-artist duo Nicola Armster and Brendan Smith scavenge the streets, alleys, distilleries and other abandoned worlds of New York City to find recycled wood and metal out of which they craft furniture and other interior design-inspired home items. However, to them, one of the most important parts of their artistic process is the way in which they sell their art. Along with countless other local vendors, they sell their art directly to the people in parks, at street fairs and pretty much wherever they can. The way they vend their art, emphasizing the humanistic, communal aspects of the commerce of craft, is a step away from sterilized, expensive, gallery art, where you never meet the person who made it, nor does the artist meet the people who love and appreciate their work.
If you are thinking about renewing your home’s interior design, or just interested in local arts and crafts movements, than learning about local, organically made, sustainable furniture and home crafts, can help to inspire renewed efforts in home design, as well as support local street artists.