Yesterday evening a friend toasted "upcycling." She was referring to the artists and craftsters, among them her cousin, who "reuse" materials, some of it trash or recyclables, to create art.
I like the term upcyling better than reusing and repurposing.
But whatever you call it, you will see this weekend at Hatch, the first creative-reuse art festival for C-U, mindbloggling examples of trashformation, or upcyling.
On Thursday afternoon at Indi Go at 9 E. University Ave., C, Hatch artists and organizers were unpacking and installing works for the juried Hatch exhibition, opening this evening (March 1) and remaining on view through March 17.
Helping out was Viki Ford, an elementary-school art teacher in Champaign who once worked as an exhibitions preparator at Krannert Art Museum. While I was there, Ford unpacked and a heavy, guitar-like instrument, covered with god knows what kind of materials. She pretended to play it.
At Indi Go Hatch artist in-residence Michelle Stitzlein from Baltimore, Ohio, opened a large flat box containing one of her moths, made, once again, from a variety of things including one dear to my heart — newspapers.  
Climbing a tall ladder inside Indi Go on Thursday was UI MFA candidate Laura Wennstrom, who will show her “Security Blanket,” a large “quilt” she made from security envelopes. Look for my Studio Visit Q-and-A with Wennstrom in the Sunday News-Gazette. 
The Hatch show at Indi Go also will display a Day of the Dead assemblage made by the late Sheri Stinson, a Champaign artist who died this past year of lung cancer. The Hatch exhibition is dedicated to her memory.
Besides the juried exhibition at Indi Go, Hatch will feature a juried art fair on Saturday at the McKinley Fitness Center, where vendors from Illinois, Indiana and Missouri will sell upcycled items they made. Hatch also includes an artist workshop on Saturday led by Stitzlein at The I.D.E.A. Store and artist lectures from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Indi Go. 
For more info, visit www.aboutHatch.org . The I.D.E.A. Store, which benefits the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation, organized Hatch.