Skip to main content

Trash becomes treasure at Bookplace exhibit

09/11/2013 03:11PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Arts+Entertainment


A portrait made of a tabletop and other bits by Maggie Creshkoff.



By John Chambless

Staff Writer

You've never seen cast-off items used quite as ingeniously as you'll see at Bookplace in Oxford this month. 

The vision shown by the artists in the “Trashy Women 2013” show is consistently inspiring. After 

Image title

 you see what they come up with, you'll be tempted to recycle some art of your own. Of course, few of us could look at a tabletop, two chunks of an old chair and some metal discs and come up with the very expressive portrait put together by Maggie Creshkoff. Actually, the whole wall full of her found-object faces is delightful.

Image title

Artist Jo Pinder makes sentimental assemblages out of antique photos, buttons, lace and old labels, and they resonate with personality and echo bittersweet back stories. Pinder clearly thinks a lot about how these bits of the past fit together, and you'll need a few moments to piece together each work. Pinder's “Mother of Pearl” is an antique clock case, perhaps, into which she has placed small, wizened face made of old newspapers.

There's a very inventive – and labor-intensive – dress by Donna Steck McMahon made out of sewn-together clothing labels. It's titled “Label Me,” which is entirely appropriate.

“The Lonely Garden,” the confessional pedestal gazing ball sculpture by Trebs Thompson, is a tour de force. It's poignant, sad and hopeful, studded with trinkets, beads, jewelry and little hand-painted messages (“Your forever was meaningless,” “I grow stronger each day”). There's hope, hurt and anger expressed here, and the brass bullet casings arranged at the base – each one embellished with a bit of mother of pearl and a fake gem – hint at the complex life story behind the work.

Then there's “Father Guevara” by Caryn Hetherston, an assemblage of fencing, a flattened can, an old rusted gear halo, and a face made of a collander, bottle cap and two beads for eyes. The piece pays tribute to a priest who works with the poorest of the poor who scavenge trash at landfills, and the materials say it all.

Whether or not you fall into the camp of folk art admirers, you can't help being impressed at this level of creativity. Could you look at an old oil can and a faucet handle and come up with a flower in a vase, like Mindy Jarusek does here? Well, come and admire works by people who can turn trash into treasure. The exhibit continues through Sept. 29.

Bookplace (2373 Baltimore Pike, Oxford) is open Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Call 717-951-6418 for more information.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



oxford bookplace art exhibit trashy women 2013


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Holidays at Hagley: A Child's Delight

    12/05/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and i...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    12/05/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Drop in on Nature

    12/08/2016
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, September 15th thru Thursday...


  • Holidays at Hagley: A Child's Delight

    12/08/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and i...


  • Christmas by Candlelight

    12/08/2016
    01:00PM

    Christmas by Candlelight, a heartwarming celebration of the yuletide season, is back by popular d...


  • Nature Studio

    12/08/2016
    04:00PM — 05:30AM

    Thursdays from 4:00PM-5:30PM Fall session: December 1st, 8th and 15th Winter session: Starts J...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    12/08/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto

    12/08/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto By Pete Pryor & Samantha Reading Music & Lyrics by Alex Bech...


  • The Road: My Life with John Denver

    12/08/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Road: My Life with John Denver By Randal Myler & Dan Wheetman Directed by Randal Myler Dec...


Chester County High School Sports