ReStore holds recycled art show celebrating Earth Day

MILWAUKEE -- To many, the items found at the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity ReStore are considered unusable and outdated. However, artists see so much more. The creations that came to be were featured at a recycled art show celebrating Earth Day, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

The 2012 Recycled Art Contest was held at ReStore in Wauwatosa, a place that's home to old, unwanted furniture and materials that are sold at a discount. Artists were challenged to take the repurposed material from ReStore and turn it into art. Artists had until March 24th to submit entries into the contest, and they were then placed on display in the store, and voted on by customers. Contest winners were announced on Saturday, April 21st, and then the art pieces could be bid on in a silent auction.

The artists behind the works said on Earth Day, they were happy to find a purpose for these recycled items. Kai Marquardt is a building contractor by day and turned an old transformer into a cherry blossom. "When you're doing art, it's just you and the medium. You have total control over it, and you don't have these other influences tugging at you," Marquadt said. Kathy Molinardo created a "Little Green House" used for gardening. "I just started seeing the possibilities with all of these castoffs, and I thought I just have to do something with them. I don't want to see them go to the landfill," Molinardo said.

CLICK HERE to get a closer look at the works of art featured in the Recycled Art Contest.