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The HATCH festival turns trash into art

It’s trash, it’s fashion, it’s trashion! The I.D.E.A. Store will be holding its third annual HATCH Creative Reuse Festival at the end of February. The I.D.E.A. Store sells recycled materials that people could buy to use in any kind of project. Items range from “25 cents to 25 dollars” and are donated by individuals, groups and businesses. The idea is to reuse things that would probably destroy our environment if thrown in a landfill include them in something big. 

Gail Rost, general manager of the I.D.E.A. Store, introduced the idea of holding a creative reuse arts festival in Champaign. Inspired by similar festivals in the U.S., she organized and planned the store’s first creative reuse festival. The theme, “Trashion,” a clever combination of the words “trash” and “fashion,” began in 2011 and was very successful. Rost continues to organize it this year.

This year’s HATCH Creative Reuse Arts Festival will take place from February 28th until March 15th at various locations in Champaign, Savoy and Urbana.

“About 11 or 12 different events will be going on in conjunction with the festival,” says Rost. The main three programs will consist of an art exhibition, an art fair and the trashion show.

The HATCH Arts Festival typically appeals to people who are interested in buying high quality items. All of the pieces submitted to the festival are typically juried by a panel of judges. All contributing artists must follow certain criteria in order to have their work qualify for submission into the festival. In order to be eligible for the exhibition, the item has to be unique and 75% made of creatively reused material. Submissions for the art fair follow similar criteria.

The trashion show also has similar standards. Submissions consist of altered clothing made up of unconventional material.

“The main idea,” Rost says, “is to ask how can you repurpose something that’s been used before, but in a different way.” 

Nancy Judd will be the artist in-residence this year for two of the festival days. During her stay, she will be leading two workshops at the I.D.E.A. Store and a lecture at the Champaign Public Library.

Judd is known worldwide as a public artist and as founder of Recycle Runway, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She focuses on environmental issues and her work has been exhibited in various airports and museums around the world. Judd will also run an all-school assembly at Garden Hills Elementary School in Champaign where she will educate students on the environment and teach them how to make woven panels from reused materials. Rost looks forward most to having the celebrated artist be a part of the festival.

This year, the festival will be introducing some new events. On March 8th, a music-lecture demo will be held at Indi Go Gallery. Three local instrument makers, who created their instruments from reused materials, will be leading the demonstration: Chad Dunn, percussionist, Tony Taylor, a cigar-box guitar maker, and Ben Juday, owner of the local store Analog Outfitters.

The HATCH arts festival typically appeals to “people who are interested in buying high quality items.” Artist from all over the Midwest contribute their art pieces to this festival. Last year, 170 people attended the opening event at Indi Go Gallery and 400 people attended the fair. Rost expects the same kind of attendance at this year’s festival and hopes to even exceed last year’s numbers.

At the fair, there will be many pieces of art for sale by various vendors. Attendees are encouraged to purchase the pieces from art from the vendors. “Vendors will come back if people shop,” says Rost.

The festival is always in need of volunteers for gallery sitting, helping vendors set up their booths and much more. Those interested in volunteering can sign up by visiting the festival’s website and clicking on the ‘Volunteer’ tab at the top of the page.

The HATCH Arts Festival is mostly free. Attendees can buy a $5 festival pass from the I.D.E.A. Store to attend the opening reception, which will take place at 6 p.m. on February 28th at Indi Go Gallery.

The Art Fair will begin on Saturday, March 15th at 10 a.m. at the Savoy Recreation Center (402 Graham Drive, Savoy) and will run until 6 p.m. The Trashion Show will be held at Lincoln Square Mall (201 Lincoln Square, Downtown Urbana) on Friday, March 7th at 6 p.m.

A full listing of the festival events is available here along with more information on each of the events that will take place during the three weeks of the event.

Photo credits: John W. MacMullen, Staci Sterenberg, and 8W

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