APRIL 3. 2021 – MAY 15. 2021
Nana YaaSerwaah Akuoku, Lori Dunsmore, Filippo Francocci, Bethany Grabert, Ellen Kleckner, David Isakson, Ellen Mansfield, Laura Mychal, Linda Tien, Antoinette Thompson, Labdhi Shah, Alaina Williams, Sheri Youens-Un
Ikouii brings together an amazing group of artists to showcase their creativity by transforming waste materials and discarded objects into art to raise awareness of environmental protection. This virtual exhibit of aesthetically powerful works will educate a global audience about plastic pollution and spark positive changes in consumer habits.
Special thanks to our staff, volunteers, selection committee, and donors for making this exhibition possible!
Allow a few minutes for the exhibit to load. Stay a while, enjoy each work.
Selection Committee Member:
Monica Jahan Bose, Storytelling with Saris
Selection Committee Member:
Laura Hernandez, Gwinnett Recycles & Come Clean Gwinnett
Linda Tien & Ellen Kleckner
2021. 2.5 x 3 x 2.5 inches
Earthenware, repurposed maple knob, found aluminum objects, mixed media
Linda Tien & Ellen Kleckner
2021. 2 x 5 x 2 inches
Found doorknob, scrap yarn, brass, mixed media, found objects
$125 USD BUY
Linda Tien & Ellen Kleckner
2020. 11 x 1 x 3.5 inches
Walnut, brass, found plastic,
Retro Flight 45 NDN Mask
2021. 13 x 13 x 21 inches
Firewood, Air Jordan shoes, feathers, acrylic paint
$2,500 USD BUY
Court Force Apache Crown Dancer
2021. 9 x 20 inches
Fire wood, Nike Force shoes, feathers, acrylic paint
$2000 USD BUY
The Unnamed 2020. 11.8 x 9.45 x 1.57 inches.
Recycled oil on recycled wood
$1000 USD BUY
2020. 11.8 x 9.45 x 1.57 inches.
Recycled oil on recycled wood
$1000 USD BUY
The Starting Gun
2020. 8 x 12 x 4 inches.
Track shoe, and bakelite pistol grip
$225 USD BUY
This is My Brain on Drugs
2021. 9 x 8 x 6 inches.
My empty prescription bottle for 20mg of olanzapine, broken sony camera,
typewriter ribbon, rifle stock, 6 optometrist’s lenses
$250 USD BUY
Linda Tien is a visual artist from Fort Worth, TX. Currently, Linda resides in Bloomington, IN where she is the Program Coordinator at the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University. She studied metal-smithing and jewelry design at Texas Tech University (BFA) and Indiana University (MFA). Ellen Kleckner is currently the Executive Director of the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, a non-profit community art center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She received her BFA in Ceramics from The Appalachian Center for Craft, completed a Post Baccalaureate year of study at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and received her MFA in Ceramics at Ohio University.
Description of Work: The Im-ple-ment Archive is an evolving collaborative exploration of tools, utensils and other pieces of equipment used for a particular purpose between visual artists Ellen Kleckner and Linda Tien. Implements in the archive utilize a variety of media including found materials, clay, wood, metal and fibers. The archive often incorporates elements that would have otherwise been destined for the garbage, such as an old doorknob, a scrap of plastic embroidery canvas, wood cutoffs and leftover yarn. Applying an intuitive consideration to the familiar visual vocabulary established by a lineage of makers, through process and material, the archive calls question to the commonplace or recognizable through the investigation of form, textures, composition and materials. Through altering familiar materials and forms, the archive acts as a documentation to share the evolution of utility, form, function and maker through the employment of cooperative play and exploration paired with traditional practice and material.
Growing up in South Louisiana, Bethany Grabert began studying art when she was young with a local cajun painter. She has always found solace in creating something with her hands and art has been her one constant throughout her life. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree at Georgia State University, she received a BFA with a focus in ceramic sculpture, at Nicholls State University. She is influenced by both her personal experiences and the sociopolitical history of identity, domestic life, religion, domestic abuse, and reproductive health. Her artwork has been exhibited in cities across the United States including New Orleans, New York City, Rochester, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Tampa.
Description of Work: The intensely emotional experience of spending an extended period of time alone in my apartment during Covid quarantine has informed and inspired my more recent work. I am highlighting the everyday experiences of spending time with one’s self in the domestic environment from a woman’s perspective. The bathroom is a particularly unique space in the home where all outside expectations and influences are left behind. When cohabitating, It can sometimes be one of the only spaces in a house that an individual can find solitude. It repeatedly has been a space for me to escape from domestic disputes and abuse, embracing the safety behind the only locked door in the house. Not only is the bathroom a place for re-setting and cleansing one’s self but soaking in the bath for hours has also been a primary source of relief from symptoms associated with endometriosis, my reproductive system disorder.
Nana YaaSerwaah Akuoku is a NYC based WearableArt Designer and visual-Artist of Ghanaian heritage and American nationality. Akuoku, an alumna of the Fashion Institute of Technology; her wearables obscure boundaries between “traditional” art, fashion and technology. In her practice, Yaa removes preconceived notions of what objects and their uses are and in doing so, reshapes their context to express narratives related to identity, introspection and culture. She refers to concepts in psychology and technology within her Afro-futuristic fashion-based practice. Akuoku is recipient of the Wassaic Project’s Winter 2019 Teaching Fellowship. In fall 2020, Her works were on view at NORDSTORM NYC as part of the fashion-film installation by artist Diane Smith. installations include Afrochella festival, Ghana Tech Summit and The Black Gala at the Accra Science and Technology Museum. Her work “Rapunzel” was worn by the opening performer of the prestigious “Wearable-Art-Gala”; Headed by philanthropist and Beyoncé’s mother; Ms.Tina Knowles-Lawson.
Description of Work: I am interested in the line between Fashion and Art. I diffuse the barriers between fashion, technology and “traditional art” though “Conceptual-Couture.” I intentionally blur these perceived boundaries within my practice of wearable textile-infused sculpture by combining traditional textiles and repurposed objects such as hair, mirrors, Metal and wood to create unexpected textiles and unconventional fashion silhouettes that re-imagine the human form. I am interested in removing preconceived notions of objects and their uses through applying an artistic approach to cerebral subject matter. I reshape the context of these objects to express narratives that shift with each work, but are often rooted in introspection, culture and Futurism/Afro-futurism. Additionally, As with my speaking work, “Grandma” I have incorporated fundamental robotics into my practice to both emphasize the context and dimension of my work and to explore the unification of High and low-tech, traditional/futuristic as well as art and utility.
Antoinette Thompson (ATA) is a self-taught indigenous contemporary artist from the Navajo Reservation who uses her culture and lifestyle to express to the world about her culture and her people. Thompsons strays away from the traditional Native America art forms and combines modern society into her abstract Native style. Thompsons has showcased her work all over the country and has recently completed a semi-solo exhibit in Genoa, Italy. She was accepted into the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but had to return to the reservation due to the pandemic. But that has not stopped her from learning new ways to express herself. She has recently won the People’s Choice Award with Hozho Gallery in Albuquerque, NM and was one of the receptions for the Halo Arts Fellowship in Florida. Thompson recently resigned from her job to completely focus on her art career in this new year.
Description of Work: Jordans, Adidas, Nikes, are brand names every youths want. The prices for these label are in the hundreds and living on the Navajo Reservation with scarce resources, shoes like these are debating to purchase, hard to keep clean, and impossible to own. If a family member owned a paid you weren’t allowed to touch or wear them. I found these on a walk in the ditches of my family’s land. I ended up ripping them apart and sculpting them into an abstract native sculptures. I wanted to express the actions of decolonizing and rooting back into indigenous culture. Living with limited resource and being influenced by the moder world, you begin to lose touch with your culture and these sculptures are the combination of both worlds. A Native ritual of decolonizing from a child’s wants to an adults new understanding. Thank you.
Filippo Francocci was born in 1974 in Città di Castello, Italy. When he was two years of age his family moved to South Africa where he grew up and obtained a BA in Fine Arts from Wits University in Johannesburg. On graduation he was awarded a prize for Fine Arts student who made the most advancement as an undergraduate. After his studies he painted for backdrop and interior decorating companies in South Africa, London and Rome. He moved to Europe in 1999 where he continued painting and working as a teacher. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions over the years. Filippo is also a musician and song writer. At the moment he lives and works on the Costa Brava in Spain.
Description of Work: These works consist of recycled oils on recycled wood panels. The paints were being thrown away by a museum and I obtained them through a friend who worked there. I found the discarded panels outside a factory, they’d been used as shipping crates. I cut the wood, treated it and extracted all the nails. I use this pile of nails as a stencil for my airbrush to lay down a base and I then continue working on the painting with normal paintbrushes. I’m interested in the potentiality of things, for example from one perspective an object may be considered useless while from another it may have potential to become something useful or of great value. Similarly the abstract forms which emerge in my paintings might transmit something figurative depending on the point of view of the observer. I seek to explore this space between abstraction and figuration in my work.
Sheri Youens-Un specializes in wood art with an emphasis on American Sign Language and Deaf art. Her passion is to develop more ASL resources and encourages more family, especially parents of deaf children to sign with their children.
Description of Work: MLK- Base and framing isn’t recycled, but the wood pieces of MLK on front certainly are- leftover wood from other projects. Deaf World- 100% recycled except for my signature (recycled kitchen cabinet as base along with leftover wood cuts from custom ASL orders)
Laura Mychal born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She studied painting and sculpture at Mills College in Oakland, CA where I received my BA in Studio Arts in 2010. Laura served as an environmental Peace Corps volunteer from 2011-2013 in Peru. There, she began incorporating recycled materials like plastic bags and cardboard into her work. Then went on to receive an MA in Art and Visual Culture Education from the University of Arizona, on a Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, and continued to expand upon on my art practice looking at place and connection to environment. Laura then worked as an artist and educator in New York City, showing her work throughout the city. She has been building an online Art Education Business and creating more work that uses found materials to focus on issues associated with environmentalism.
Description of Work: I use found and recycled materials like single-use plastic and cardboard, which to me symbolize the capitalistic ideals of our society. Integrating them into paintings, I comment on the climate change issues in light of how-away culture and lack of focus on environmental health by powerful corporations. These works look an the individual impact, with Carbon Fingerprint. And, in Smoke Warning, looks at events like the wildfires in the Western U.S., and meditates on how capitalistic focus is contributing to such devastation. Finally, the piece Estuary is an example of my work that focuses on aspects of the natural landscape and through the use of recycled material, speaks to the way landscapes are changing due to pollution and climate change issues.
Ellen Mansfield was born Deaf in Manhattan, New York but grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. Went to public school where Ellen learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. Spent all summers in Goldens Bridge countyside, north of New York City. She earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ellen has led a life filled with art and experiences with a background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other media that have brought her onto her current journey.
When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been part of her artwork. Life was starting to blossom as she was surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, which developed increasingly colorful images including watercolors , oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork.
She works in a variety of aesthetic and technical styles including sculpted relief, carved plaster blocks, tile presses and mosaic tiles. All the tiles are finished in a wide palate of earthenware and stoneware glazes.
Labdhi Shah is a self-taught artist from India, currently residing in Atlanta. She specializes in finger-painted art works created from intuition without any reference or pre-sketch, distilling the purest expression of her emotion into her art. Art seeks to convey the truth of the human experience, in all its complexity. Her effort as an artist is to share the faith she has in the capacity of love, and to accept the uniqueness of every human being irrespective of race, color, gender, and culture. She works with watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, chalk and ink. Her work has been exhibited at the Artlink Gallery in Indiana, the Stay Home Gallery in Tennessee, Ikouii in Atlanta, the Las Laguna Gallery in CA, USA, and Student Art Spaces in Hyderabad, India. An economist, a clinical psychologist, and an art therapist by training, her passions include traveling and studying human complexity.
Description of Work: “When a man does not realize his kinship with the world, he lives in a prison-house whose walls are alien to him.” — Rabindranath Tagore In the greed to conquer and feel empowered, man has become trapped by his own inventions, created not out of necessity or for the common weal, but for profit. We find ourselves today locked in an artificial world, a world no longer living and breathing, but one that stifles the living connections that nurture our being. ‘Sealed plastic’ is a metaphor to how our emotions are being sealed and caged by the artificial world around us, the world we have created. The threads represent the bars of prison that we have made for our own selves. We live in a plastic cell, and have stitched and caged our spirits in it, becoming less human in the process.
Alaina Williams is a Mixed Media Artist, actress, singer, and interior designer based in Atlanta, GA, USA. An avid world traveler, she is a graduate of Agnes Scott College. Her artworks are organic compositions of media such as photography, film, paper, wood, up-cycled signs, furniture, picture frames, silk, suede, and cashmere. As the head curator for Abby Essie Studios, Williams, enjoys the creative process and the element of surprise it brings.
Description of work: September Collage is an echo of movement, mirroring sound, dance, or conversation. Created on repurposed drop ceiling tile with acrylic & enamel paints, plastic & latex remnants.
Lori Dunsmore is a self-taught visual artist specializing in collages, photo montages, acrylics, and oil pastels. Her expressed work is largely a reflective of her ability to look at scenarios with depth that some may choose to look away from such as exposing the rawness of the bare soul, emotions, and milestones.
Like every human, Lori’s life went through all sorts of evolved moments which allowed her to express interpretations intuitively through visual mediums as it continues to be a human awakening. Time is devoted with her continuation to learn varieties of interpreted creativity and originality by making it meaningful as a Deaf female artist. Lori believes that everyone is their own stories and her story is defined through her visual creations.
David Isakson is a Jewish schizophrenic emerging outsider artist who lives and works in Oak Park, CA. In 1996, upon returning to the US from Amsterdam, David built a workbench with recycled wood and started working. In 2012 he began to exhibit regularly, Winning prizes in juried group shows for his work, he developed his sense of deconstruction humor and continued to refine his assemblage work. With over 80 shows and 100+ pieces of art to his credit, he has exhibited at BG gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica CA. The Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, CA and a solo show titled Relics of the Civilization of Myself at The Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo CA, among others. His work is collected locally in Southern California.
Description of Work: Assemblage is my metier. I weld and join materials to make humorous deconstructions out of everyday objects. I have been working pretty much exclusively with upcycled materials for the last 20 years. I generally make larger work 2 -3 feet high somewhat theoretical structures out of metal and found objects. They get to be pretty heavy, in more ways than one. I wanted to feature smaller more accessible work for Ikouii. Something people could acquire on the internet without having to pay $100’s in shipping.
Monica Jahan Bose, an award-winning, Bangladeshi-American artist, lawyer, and climate activist. Her work explores themes of gender, climate justice, and empowerment though printmaking, painting, film, and performance. She has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums in the US and internationally, including in Bangladesh, France, Japan and India, and her performances and installations have engaged thousands of people.
Her solo exhibitions and performances have been presented at such venues as MACRO Contemporary Art Museum of Rome, the Bangladesh National Museum, Art Asia Miami, Twelve Gates Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the DUMBO Arts Festival, (e)merge art fair, SELECT Art Fair Miami Beach, and UNESCO (Paris). Her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Art Asia Pacific, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Japan Times, and all major newspapers in Bangladesh. She studied art at Wesleyan University, UC Berkeley, and Santiniketan (India) and has a law degree from Columbia Law School. She now lives and works in Washington DC.
Laura Hernandez, a Georgia-based zero waste and sustainability evangelist, writer, speaker, community organizer, and influencer. With a passion for trash, in 2016 she founded a community organization, Gwinnett Recycles, focused on empowering the one million residents of her county to keep material out of landfills and the environment. She is the co-founder, Come Clean Gwinnett, that gives people the encouragement and resources to take direct personal action on litter and blight in their neighborhoods. She has also managed the execution of a corporate sustainability program targeting the achievement of Zero Waste to Landfill at nearly 100 business locations nationwide.
Aleatha Lindsay is an Atlanta based award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, independent curator, disability advocate, and published author. She is a graduate of Georgia State University, Russell Sage College, as well as Savannah College of Art & Design where she holds a Master of Arts in Creative Business Leadership. Trained in classical ballet since the age of 7, she studied Dance Movement Therapy in Corfu, Greece under the direction of Dr. Danielle L. Fraenkel. After completing her studies, she went on to pursue posts in the mental health, arts community development, and special education arenas. She has held curatorial and leadership roles at several arts organizations in the metro Atlanta area including Kudzu Art Zone – Art Center and Gallery.
Deaf from the age of 2, she credits her early exposure to the arts with helping her overcome the challenges related to her disability. Her work has been purchased by collectors nationally and exhibited in Atlanta, New York, Spain, Morocco, and Norway.
Lindsay is the Founder and Curator of The Ikouii Creative, an organization that supports artists with disabilities globally and assists organizations in adopting more inclusive attitudes. The Ikouii Creative serves artists worldwide, in countries including the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Israel, and India. The organization offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to amplify its impact in the arts sector.