Art of Recycle is a community art center located in downtown Ephrata, PA. This facility acts as a civic hub in an area where most of the local residents can easily walk to. The art center is located at 27 Cloister Ave in the big white building with the stone facade labeled "Building A", behind the Sunoco Station. Our entrance is located on the lower half of the building, on the left side. There is a handicap ramp in front of our building, we are handicapped accessible. The parking lot is across the street from our entrance "Parking lot A". Inside of our building are public restrooms.
Art of Recycle’s store and free crafting area is open Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm.
Art of Recycle began with the simple idea of teaching people how to re-use the everyday items around them to create art rather than discarding unwanted items into the landfill. Not just any art, but useful art that people would treasure and utilize for years.
It all began in 2008 in a 10x10 booth in downtown Lancaster hosting free workshops in the evenings and on the weekends.
Art is a fundamental need.
Art is probably one of the most stress relieving and therapeutic ways of healing your body and mind. We believe that art and music belong in the same category as diet and exercise, and people who are robbed of the ability to create art because of economic hardship live a life of the lowest quality.
Art of Recycle offers a free crafting area that is utilized by people of all walks of life. We facilitate intergenerational interactions by maintaining an environment in which young and old can enjoy together.
At Art of Recycle our duty is to connect people to the free and inexpensive resources that mostly end up in our city's waste stream, to teach the skills to utilize those materials, and more importantly to connect people with other people. Everyone is welcome at Art of Recycle.
1. The Craft Castle and Puppet Stage are free to use for anyone who visits our facility.
2. Both the Craft Castle and the Puppet Stage make a great outing activity for grandparents and parents to bring young children to play.
3. Our facility is open to the public. Donors can immediately visualize the impact of what their donations are doing for the local community every time they visit us.
4. We are keeping items out of the waste stream by selling them to raise funds for our many programs. The Craft Castle takes items that are not marketable for sale and gives them purpose as free crafting materials. We strive to teach all crafters to be environmentally conscious. Our Free Teachers Section provides local teachers with necessary materials for their classrooms.
5. Unlike other organizations who rescue trash from the waste stream, we do not measure our impact by weighing the pounds of materials salvaged. We measure our impact according to the amount of people that we are serving and how they are utilizing our services.
The Social Art Therapy Program has been very successful in helping us to fulfill our organization's goals.
At Art of Recycle our goal is to provide HOPE to people within the communities that we serve.
• Above all else, we will treat every person that enters our facility with respect and dignity.
• Every guest is welcomed as they walk in the door; every new person receives an introductory tour of our art center.
• We believe that raising the self-esteem of our citizens is important in creating a healthier community.
• Our free crafting area and our commitment to keep our merchandise low cost for our clients provides opportunity to people during a time of economic hardship.
• Our free Teachers Section provides teachers with free materials for their classrooms.
• We strive towards a zero waste community, utilizing as much of potentially discarded materials as possible while teaching others to do the same.
• Our pledge to donate excess art supplies to other organizations and institutions helps to reduce the economic burden on them in an effort to help art programs in local communities to prosper.
• Due to our low cost crafting materials, local artists have a greater advantage of creating a sustainable income through the sale of their own art.
• Our work within our community enables us to help other communities to develop similar revitalization projects in order to create widespread community prosperity.
• We provide free and low cost workshops that teach people the skills that they need in order to create with confidence.
• Our volunteer opportunities serve as training workshops and help individuals with special needs to learn social skills empowering them with self confidence and motivation.
• Our goal is to empower people, and entire communities, with the concept that they can achieve magnificent things when they apply the effort to do so.
Art of Recycle hosts a variety of workshops and some of those workshops do not appear to be about recycling. A lot of people question why we do these workshops if they do not encourage recycling. The answer is almost simple; Everything we do is about recycling, what most people do not understand is that the waste that is being created is so immense that recycling is becoming one of the broadest terms imaginable, you just aren't seeing it until you start to look outside of the box.
To explain it a little more in depth, let us first define our name a little better.
When we say "ART", we are mostly saying "ZEN". ZEN is defined as an approach to an activity, skill, or subject that emphasizes simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking or fixation on goals
When we use the term "RECYCLE", we are actually saying that we are "using and re-using the materials around us". These materials includes waste materials, excess materials, and items that are not necessarily trash, but have lost their purpose. We don't just use these materials in our workshops to create items with; we use the materials to create the funding to better peoples lives.
The "Art of Recycle" is better defined as - the "Zen of Using and Re-Using the Materials Around Us".
We host workshops on making ceramics.
Avid recyclers have written to us to suggest that we should focus on recycling projects only.
What many people do not understand is that ceramics is one of the biggest recycling projects ever. The day of cheesy ceramic art projects have mostly come to an end leaving a vast amount of ceramic molds, porcelain clays, kilns and other ceramic related items destined to go to the landfill. When we receive items like these we see it as an opportunity to teach a skill to economically challenged adults and children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to have such an experience. When we host workshops, such as ceramics, that appear to be non-recycling workshops, we are actually practicing the Art of Recycle. We are taking good items that have lost their purpose and we are finding other uses for them. In this case, we are using a discarded item to give an artistic experience to a group of people who would not otherwise have this chance.
The best way to keep objects from going to the landfill, is to create items that have purpose. Once most items lose their purpose, they become trash. Art of Recycle's objective is to find another purpose for those discarded items. Sometimes that purpose is not immediately noticeable unless you are thinking outside of the box the same way we do.
When it comes to the case of the ceramic workshops:
Our first object is to find a re-use for the discarded ceramic materials. Our solution is to host workshops teaching the skills of ceramics.
Our second objective is to give purpose to the crafts being created in Art of Recycle ceramic workshops. Our solution is to reinvent a craft that has lost popularity, and to teach our crafters to use their imagination and to transform the skill associated with that craft into something more purposeful. Little nick-nack items that sit on shelves and serve no purpose are eventually discarded into the landfill quicker than items that have purpose, but with a little imagination, these objects could be adjusted and created into wearable art, useful tools, drawer knobs, etc.
Our overall objective is to create a little bit of happiness. Thus, the Art of Recycle, or the Zen of Recycle. Whichever you prefer.