Community Art Project on display at Milner Landfill | SteamboatToday.com

Community Art Project on display at Milner Landfill

Nicole Inglis

Steamboat Springs — His name is Re-5, and he stands a towering 15 feet tall with legs of bright silver stovepipe. — His name is Re-5, and he stands a towering 15 feet tall with legs of bright silver stovepipe.

— His name is Re-5, and he stands a towering 15 feet tall with legs of bright silver stovepipe.

His chest is a collage of computer circuit boards, decorated with 15 CDs reflecting the Thursday morning sunlight hitting the Home ReSource salvage yard outside Milner.

The creator of the sculpture, Charlie Holthausen, said Re-5 is a friendly robot but also is a guardian of the yard. More than that, however, he's a freestanding story of the visual treasures that can be found in someone else's trash.

The robot sculpture's name might be the most telling of all of his parts. Re-5 represents five words that Holthausen rattled off: "Reuse, reduce, recycle, repair and rebuild. If you just walk around here, there's so much stuff."

Holthausen was one of three locals who have spent the past several weeks working on sculptures for the Community Art Project.

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The third annual showcase event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Home ReSource, will feature kinetic art and sculptures built from the thousands of castaway items that fill the yard.

"It's really to encourage people to come out and be creative with the materials," said Dave Epstein, who runs the landfill that houses the Home ReSource space. "To use them for something other than what it was intended for."

Two sculptures, including Re-5, will be on display during Saturday's event, in addition to sculptures from years past. Two more pieces will be erected on the day of the event.

Tara Nagel and Randy Sal­ky were working on their interactive sculpture Thursday, as well, adding the finishing touches — propped up snowboard bindings with broken pieces of mirrors — to their self-reflective pie­­ce of art.

The work is a tiered, mobile-like interactive piece, in which people can turn the wheel and rotate a layer of planets made of the foam from a hot tub cover. Above the planets is a row of horseshoes, and above that is a chandelier of second-hand glass.

The pair said their project was modeled after a Tibetan prayer wheel.

"There's some good junk here," Nagel said about the salvage yard. "We live in a very material world."

Home ReSource Manager Mike Williams said he wasn't surprised at how the artists took the wealth of items, such as toilets, old bicycles and lighting fixtures, and turned them into works of art.

"The stuff we ordinarily throw away is totally reusable," Williams said. "It's stuff people don't think has value."

In addition to serving as a visual adornment for the salvage yard, the sculptures have therapeutic value to their creators.

Holthausen, a car mechanic, and Salky, a lawyer, revere the time spent away from their day jobs, basking in the sunshine and sifting for treasures in the piles of would-be junk.

"It's like meditative time," Holthausen said. "It's relaxing and fun."

For Holthausen, beauty can come in the strangest of forms, and there were some things he found in the yard that caught his attention and fit into his vision for Re-5.

"I love circuit boards," he said as he ran his hands over an intricate panel of silver snakes and spiked transistors. "Look at this. It's like artwork right there."

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