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April 7, 2011

One of the nicest parts of traveling through the San Francisco International Airport is its art gallery in Terminal 3. As I made my way to Las Vegas this week for Surfaces and Las Vegas Market (check back soon for slideshows highlighting the best from both), I took a stroll through the latest installation titled Second Chances: Folk Art Made from Recycled Remnants.

Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to <a href="http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/wright-at-home-1930-1965.html">Russell Wright and his ceramics work</a>. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Muse
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to Russell Wright and his ceramics work. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Museum collaborated with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to host an exhibition featuring old and discarded materials made new, whether as license plates turned to dustpans or candy wrappers transformed into dresses.
1 / 8
Whereas in the United States we often use old license plates to decorate bars and grills, in many towns in Africa, India, and Latin America, these sturdy pieces of metal are repurposed into household goods, such as dustpans. Shown here are examples of tho
Whereas in the United States we often use old license plates to decorate bars and grills, in many towns in Africa, India, and Latin America, these sturdy pieces of metal are repurposed into household goods, such as dustpans. Shown here are examples of those made and sold in Mexico.
2 / 8
Writer, inventor, and environmentalist Svein "Slim" Sirnes created a tool to cut aluminum cans into strips then proceeded to create sculptures, clothing, purses, lamps, and furniture with the recycled metal. In the early 1990s he created this lawn chair w
Writer, inventor, and environmentalist Svein "Slim" Sirnes created a tool to cut aluminum cans into strips then proceeded to create sculptures, clothing, purses, lamps, and furniture with the recycled metal. In the early 1990s he created this lawn chair with such aluminum strips.
3 / 8
Having recently read Christopher McDougall's <i>Born to Run</i> (which, among others, describes the Mexican tribe of super-runners called the Tarahumara) and being a runner myself, this display case of minimalist sandals fashioned out of rubber caught my
Having recently read Christopher McDougall's Born to Run (which, among others, describes the Mexican tribe of super-runners called the Tarahumara) and being a runner myself, this display case of minimalist sandals fashioned out of rubber caught my eye. In Mexico, shoes that were once made of laminated leather are now often fabricated with castoff car tires.
4 / 8
Evoking images of the 50s as well as those of <i>Project Runway</i> challenges, this dress by Shelly Hedges was created with Mary Jane candy wrappers. Hedges doesn't limit herself to bonbons though, she's also created designs with wine foils, cocktail umb
Evoking images of the 50s as well as those of Project Runway challenges, this dress by Shelly Hedges was created with Mary Jane candy wrappers. Hedges doesn't limit herself to bonbons though, she's also created designs with wine foils, cocktail umbrellas, used stamps, sugar packets, bottle caps, twist ties, clothing labels, and metal spice tins.
5 / 8
As kids, my sister and I used to punch holes into metal cans to make decorative tea-light holders. In countries like India, a similar process is used but with a more utilitarian aim. There, they instill a new life into these cans by forming them into siev
As kids, my sister and I used to punch holes into metal cans to make decorative tea-light holders. In countries like India, a similar process is used but with a more utilitarian aim. There, they instill a new life into these cans by forming them into sieves and strainers for use in the kitchen.
6 / 8
Seattle-based artist Ross Palmer Beecher collects scrap metal and found objects to create what she calls wall quilts. Made by hand, this Box-Spring Quilt incorporates items like metal springs and pop cans to create a wall hanging.
Seattle-based artist Ross Palmer Beecher collects scrap metal and found objects to create what she calls wall quilts. Made by hand, this Box-Spring Quilt incorporates items like metal springs and pop cans to create a wall hanging.
7 / 8
In Southeast Asia, the Hmong make baskets using strips of cane and bamboo. Those who have traveled to the U.S., however, have adapted to local materials. Here, they use inexpensive plastic strapping to continue their traditional practice.
In Southeast Asia, the Hmong make baskets using strips of cane and bamboo. Those who have traveled to the U.S., however, have adapted to local materials. Here, they use inexpensive plastic strapping to continue their traditional practice.
8 / 8
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to <a href="http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/wright-at-home-1930-1965.html">Russell Wright and his ceramics work</a>. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Muse
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to Russell Wright and his ceramics work. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Museum collaborated with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to host an exhibition featuring old and discarded materials made new, whether as license plates turned to dustpans or candy wrappers transformed into dresses.

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