Wheel covers get new life in public art project
For its first public art initiative, the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature in Solvang has chosen a most unusual theme: “Nature Takes the Wheel: A Public Art Project with Upcycled Hubcaps.”
Community members are being invited to paint and embellish used wheel covers, otherwise known as hubcaps, into nature-inspired artworks.
The deadline to submit them is 5 p.m. Thursday.
Funded by a $3,000 grant from the city of Buellton’s new Arts and Culture Committee, the project allowed the Wildling Museum to hire local artist Stacey Thompson to lead the effort assisted by two other area artists, Kiana Beckman and Carolyn Drown.
“The team is collecting hubcaps and art supplies and will prep the wheel covers for participants,” said Stacey Otte-Demangate, Wildling Museum’s executive director. “After artworks are turned into the Wildling for display, the team will protect hubcaps with varnish before installing them at various locations, primarily in Buellton.”
She said she got the idea “from an arts group in Ventura who turned hubcaps into flowers for an installation. I thought I wanted to do that someday. Stacey and I thought of doing it last year, but the timing wasn’t right.”
The first installation of nine wheel covers is already under way at the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden on Sycamore Drive in Buellton, and once the Wildling is able to reopen, the museum will also feature an installation. With enough participants, organizers hope to extend the project to Buellton businesses that may also host artworks throughout the city.
“We are grateful to the city of Buellton for funding our first public art project that will encourage community members to upcycle hubcaps into fun works of art for the community to enjoy,” said Ms. Otte-Demangate. “The project is a great expression of our mission to celebrate nature through art and encourage practices such as recycling and upcycling. We encourage all ages to participate, and we look forward to seeing what folks create.”