AZTEC — Sandy Martin has been making jewelry out of recycled materials for years.

She started because recycled and reused materials were more affordable than traditional jewelry supplies. However, over time, the recycled art became her passion.

Every year since 2001, Martin has helped organize recycled art shows as a way to celebrate Earth Day, which is on April 22.


What: Recycled art show

When: When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 to May 18. A reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 26.

Where: Feat of Clay Gallery, 107 S Main Ave., Aztec

More info: 505-334-4335.

She said that when she looks at the art, there's always something that surprises her. Sometimes, artists incorporate items she never thought to use, or they use everyday items in ways Martin never imagined.

One of the pieces that surprised her this year in Feat of Clay's annual Recycled Art show was a tree that local painter Tim Gordon made with coat hangers.

The show this year will start with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at the Feat of Clay Gallery, 107 S. Main Ave. in Aztec. It will continue until May 18.

Martin said it isn't unusual for people like Gordon, who is known for paintings, to move out of their comfort zones and create something completely different for the recycled show.


The show also provides an opportunity for members of the community who aren't artists to make and enter something into the show. Sometimes, Martin said, those people will find a passion for art through the recycled show and will become multi-media artists.

Martin will display some of her recycled jewelry during the show. The jewelry is made from recycled metal and pieces from board games. Martin said her children occasionally lose pieces to board games, and she uses the remaining pieces to create art.

Martin said the main purpose of the recycled show is to demonstrate how much consumers throw away and to encourage people to reuse or recycle items to keep them out of the landfills.

For several years, Aztec High School art students have participated in the show. This year, the students have submitted a variety of artwork, including sundials, wearable art, lamps and a robot.

One new aspect of the show comes from an article Carlotta Francis, a local artist, read in the February 2012 issue of "Mature Living" magazine. The article detailed using plastic bags to make mats for the homeless.

Around Christmas last year, Francis asked the Farmington First United Methodist Church congregation to donate clean grocery bags. The bags were turned into strips that were later crocheted into mats. Some of these mats will be displayed during the art show.

In addition to making mats for the homeless, the bags can be turned into purses, backpacks and rugs.

As she and the church members worked, Francis began to worry there wouldn't be enough bags. So she approached local stores. Best Buy, Lowe's, Staples, Target and the Safeway on East Main in Farmington began to provide additional bags.

To help with the project, Feat of Clay will be collecting clean grocery bags for the homeless mat project until May 18.


Hannah Grover can be reached at; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover