Environmental gallery opens on Mill Avenue

Mill Avenue, Post Office, Green Revolution

Art sculptures made of recycled materials, including USB cords, wires, glass, and yarn, are on display in the windows of the US Post Office on Mill Avenue as part of Tempe Green Revolution. (Photo by Ana Ramirez)

The U.S. Post Office on Mill Avenue and Green Revolution introduced a green-themed exhibition series gallery on Jan. 4, which focuses on state and local environmental issues.

Green Revolution, an online organization powered by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, manages green-themed galleries at various Tempe locations. It draws in local artists to create pieces advocating for environmental awareness.

Green Revolution’s Tempe coordinator, Michelle Dock, said the entire organization concentrates on nationwide environmental issues.

“Green Revolution is an exhibition that tries to put the human touch on going green and the little simple things we can do,” Dock said.

She said the post office is one of the several locations that display Green Revolution galleries every year.

“We echo ideas in these different spaces and cross-promote different programs,” Dock said.

Each window features the work from one of four artists and focuses on specific ecological issues in Arizona.

The entire gallery draws public attention to concerns such as urban sprawl, the heat-island effect, water availability, landfills and pollution.

Artist and ASU alumna Emily Stergar, 32, said the gallery is a way to engage viewers in topics that aren’t often discussed.

“There is always a lot going on in the world that we need to talk about and that we need to address,” Stergar said. “It sometimes gets lost in the vastness of everything, and we need to make sure we pinpoint these issues.”

Artist Troy Moody, 38, said the the post office creates an interesting setting for the green-themed gallery.

He said the mission of Green Revolution was easy to capture in his Jelly Fish piece, because the environmental focus is a recurring theme in most of his own work.

“There’s nothing preachy about it,” Moody said. “That’s just how I live and it trickles down into my artwork.”

Participant and ASU alumna Kelly Wilton, 22, said the gallery was an opportunity to feature her work for an organization with a valued mission and in a setting so close to campus.

“It features local artists and is showing what ASU students are doing once they graduate,” Wilton said. “But it’s always good to see art. I don’t think a lot of ASU students know about art or what is going on with it.”

Wilton said her focus for her own work often involves the moment of decay and regrowth. The green theme allowed her to create a piece addressing urban sprawl and the importance of recycling.

“Why waste it if you can use it?” she said.

Although Saskia Jorda, 34, often creates pieces advocating for environmental awareness, her work changes from venue to venue.

Jorda said the post office is an unusual venue where art can be seen without stepping into a museum.

“It’s an opportunity to raise awareness in the metro area,” she said.

The gallery will be on display until April 3.

Reach the reporter at wpogden@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @whitneyparis10