Trash is everywhere. Man-made substances litter roads, fill oceans, and exist in the tissue of all living things. Humans transformed nature to make our lives more convenient, only to leave a massive mess for the next generation. What are the steps to solve this crisis? My contribution for radical change is to shift society’s perception of trash. Through art, education, and an enduring optimism, I am out to empower others to see potential in by-product materials and themselves. Taking time to be still in nature, and observing bird behavior, had a major impact on the materials I choose to use in my work. Nature’s endless ability to reuse and adapt motivates me to eliminate waste and reimagine it as sculpture, animations, and installations for audiences of all ages. Like the scavenger animals I sculpt, I collect a variety of waste materials from my environment, extended community, and network of Creative Reuse Centers. I see rubbish as a resource for developing beautiful textures such as fox fur or flower petals. With only my hands and a hot-glue-gun, I’ve encouraged others to act. This exchange has profound meaning to me. We are all capable of being a part of the transformation.
Nature Never Wastes. That’s Why I Reuse!
Artist, educator and advocate, Calder Kamin transforms trash into beautifully crafted creatures and opportunities to inspire others to be creative and courageous about the future. Nature’s endless ability to reuse and adapt motivates her to eliminate waste and re-imagine it as art.
Kamin’s creative reuse art projects and public workshops have traveled to museums across the states including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art American, The American Museum of Natural History, The Contemporary Austin, The i.d.e.a. Museum, and The Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Plastic Planet, her 2016 solo exhibition at Women & Their Work, was supported by a Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations Grant and the subject of an episode for the PBS series Arts In Context. She was the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s Art Truck Artist, the first AIR at the Beach Museum of Art, and Artist-in-Residence at Breck Create, Landmark Apartments, and the DoSeum, San Antonio’s Children’s Museum, which earned Kamin’s second Mid-America Artistic Innovations Grant for the culminating exhibition.
Kamin is a board member of Austin Creative Reuse, a non-profit that diverts community waste to artists, crafters, and educators as resources. Her recent and upcoming exhibitions include Ivester Contemporary, Presa House Gallery, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, Webster University, The Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts, and The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation. She is a 2023 Resident Artist at SiNaCa Glass School and the Currier Museum of Art. Kamin holds a double Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute.