“Recycled art:” Pieces help build Habitat for Humanity homes in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Homes for those in need in the Milwaukee are are going up thanks to some very unique art.

You could call it "recycled art."

It's all made from items that are being re-used.
"A lot of this stuff started as something completely different," said Jake Brandt, the marketing and communications manager for Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee.

Imagine part of window drapery turned into a chess set, or electrical outlets turned into a wall piece. That's what the exhibit is all about.

"Being able to take something and completely see a brand new thing," said Brandt.

There are 43 entries in the exhibit, which is part of a contest. Artists build a piece using re-purposed materials from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

They they buy the materials the proceeds help the organization build new homes.

"We are specifically working in the Washington Park neighborhood this year, we are building 13 new construction homes, and five rehabbed homes," said Brandt.

Some of the art pieces at the gallery are made by professional artists. Other pieces are just made by people who like to get creative. There is also one made by an art therapy group in Milwaukee.

For one artist, the material from the ReStore is steel, and his inspiration, is the human brain.

"Steel studs make up the cell structures, and that`s BX cable that is the connecting tissues, or axons," said Kai Marquardt.

Marquardt makes his living as a contractor, but appreciates the opportunity to something more creative, and do something good for the community at the same time.

The winners of the contest will be revealed at Gallery night: Friday, April 17th from 5-9 p.m.

Habitat is also hosting two donation drives on Saturday, April 18th:

  • Mayfair donation drive: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Mayfair Mall in the Macy's northeast lot
  • Cardinal Stritch donation drive: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. in the Cardinal Stritch southwest parking lot