Friday, November 2, 2012


We are getting ready for the weeeekend around here.....and yes we are open til 9 tonight, and Sat 10-5, and Sun 12-5....come on over and visit! I just wanted to give a quick update on what is happening..... 

First off......we are honoring our ancestors this weekend-- by having a shrine making workshop tonight from 6-9pm, drop on in on our rock star staff person and artist Savannah Ford. She will be here making Pocket Shrines in the Design Center, so come on over and say hi and make one yourself! And tomorrow night at SEEDS- 706 Gilbert Street starting at 6:00pm....we are partnering with SEEDs and El Centro to produce a Day of the Dead celebration, with food, candles, artmaking, music and a celebration of those who have passed, come on out to this wonderful community celebration.

Also tomorrow--- we will be at the Whirligig Festival in Wilson . We will be there with Bryant Holsenbeck (one of our founding members of the Scrap Exchange who we LOVE to work with) helping the community honor Vollis Simpson and his AMAZING work. Closer to home at the Scrap Exchange we will be hosting Repair Cafe from 2-4, more details on our website. I was very excited to listen to Karl Wiel from a couple weeks ago at the Reuse Conference in Portland, and we did get some of his manifestos-- one of my favorite manifesto quotes is "if you can't fix it,you don't own it".

And to top it all off--- we have partnered with Be Active North Carolina and Jessica Hoffmire to help get the PlayPod concept working at the VERY first school-- Forest View Elementary-- we are working on the sign for the shed that holds the goodies at the school as we speak! Check out the PlayPod link for the activity that is VERY popular in Bristol England YEAH Jessica for introducing PLAYING back into our schools...looking forward to spreading the concept..we all need to play together more. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Modified Multiples//Mundane Machines" Opens August 17

"Modified Multiples//Mundane Machines" opens Friday, August 17 in the Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange. This show features sculptures by Julia Gartrell that explore common consumer items and unexpected mechanical processes.

“Modified Multiples” is a series of sculptures using numerous repeating objects combined together into new forms. The repetition of items transforms normal objects into unusual creations and explores our need to collect, consume and discard. “Mundane Machines” is a group of home-made machines that perform useless or redundant tasks. These highly constructed devices subvert the idea that machine-made items are more efficient and/or modern, and explores notions of labor and specialization. The series of sculptures and machines work together to look at how we approach mass-produced items in a fast-paced and wasteful culture.

Julia Gartrell is a sculpture and installation artist from Durham, NC. After graduating from Kalamazoo College in 2008, she has been refining her sculptural practice through kinetic and interactive artworks. Gartrell’s work primarily explores the production and consumption of goods, specialization of labor and the relationships between art, artist and viewer. She is a 2010/11 recipient of the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council. Using the emerging artist grant, she traveled to Morocco to participate in the Ifitry Artists Residency program. Her piece from the residency was selected for inclusion in the 2012 Casablanca Biennale exhibition.

Gartrell was also a former store manager at The Scrap Exchange creative reuse center, and will soon begin a post-baccalaureate art fellowship at Kalamazoo College for the 2012/2013 school year. She has shown her work previously here in the Green Gallery, and also at the Light Fine Arts Gallery in Kalamazoo, MI, the Durham Storefront Project, Made in the USA in Raleigh, NC, and SPARKCon in Raleigh, NC.

"Modified Multiples//Mundane Machines" will run from August 17 through September 15. An opening reception will be held on Friday, August 17 from 6-9pm. The opening includes refreshments and live music, and marks the debut of a new Durham band, the Hillbilly Hipsters! The band features David Rogers and his nephew Patrick Rogers, who are backed by the drumming force of Steve and Dan Mullaney, and the deep tones of Rob Walpole’s washtub bass. Together, the Hillbilly Hipsters produce a rich blend of folk inspired music. Other bands performing during the opening include The Beauty Operators and Beloved Binge.

The Green Gallery is located inside The Scrap Exchange creative reuse center, at 923 Franklin Street in Durham. The gallery is open to view anytime during regular retail store hours. Admission is free. Green Gallery opening receptions are sponsored by PBR and held in conjunction with Third Friday Durham activities. For more information, call 919-688-6960.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August is Teacher Appreciation Month at The Scrap Exchange

Just to show our teachers how much we love and appreciate them, we designate every August as Teacher Appreciation Month at The Scrap Exchange!

All teachers receive a 20% discount off their retail purchases throughout this month with a valid ID. (Discounts do not apply to Artist Marketplace or Green Gallery items.) A current teaching ID must be presented to receive a discount. Homeschool teachers may present their orange card to qualify.

Are you a teacher AND a Friend’s Club member? Our teaching Friends will receive 30% off the purchase of any retail supplies! Find out more about our Friends Club program at

What can teachers expect to find at The Scrap Exchange? A lot of unusual and inexpensive supplies and resources! Our supplies include a wide variety of materials including paper products, matboard, folders, binders, craft paint, house paint, fabric, thread, trims, tubes, frames, electronic discards, cutaways, science supplies, labware, and much, much more.

So teachers, get those classroom supply lists together, grab your ID, and head on out to the Scrap. And please pass the word along to your other academic amigos! Teacher Appreciation discounts are available through August 31.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Scrap Exchange To Celebrate 100th Third Friday Reception!

Green Gallery Hits Milestone with Opening of “America: Lost and Found”

The Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange is getting ready to celebrate its 100th Third Friday reception, and the public is invited to join the party! The next exhibit, “America: Lost and Found”, opens Friday, July 20 and opening night festivities will include an All-American hotdog cookout to help mark the milestone.

“America: Lost and Found” is a tribute to the people who have unintentionally documented America and its culture through their discarded family photos. People's lives are filtered out through the mass of donations that pass through our doors daily, and many of those donations include family pictures and keepsakes. As we piece together found photos from 100 years ago until today, we build a narrative about the American experience that is simultaneously diverse and repetitive, anonymous and familiar. Through our collection of slides, family albums, prints and related ephemera such as vacation maps and postcards, we create an almost voyeuristic glimpse into what we value as Americans, and what we choose to document and save for future generations.

“America: Lost and Found” opens Friday, July 20, with a reception from 6-9pm. Opening night festivities will include free make-and-take activities, refreshments, grilled hotdogs, PBR beer and live music. "America Lost and Found" runs from July 20 through August 11.

The Green Gallery is located inside The Scrap Exchange creative reuse center, at 923 Franklin Street in Durham. The gallery is open to view anytime during regular retail store hours. For more information, call 919-688-6960.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"A Legacy of Thrift" Opens June 15 in the Green Gallery

Working at The Scrap Exchange is not simply a job for marketing coordinator and reuse artist Ruth Warren. It’s a chance to live a dream and indulge a passion for reuse that she learned as a child. In the next Green Gallery exhibit at The Scrap Exchange, Warren presents a retrospective of reuse spanning eight decades by examining the lives of the two people that influenced her the most – her parents. “My parents are no longer with me, but thanks to The Scrap Exchange I can celebrate their spirit of utilitarian and creative reuse every day. The Scrap Exchange feels like home and reconnects me with core values that I learned in childhood.”

Warren collaborated with two of her siblings, Lee Stadler and Lynne Mann, to create an exhibit that focuses on the life of their parents Raymond and Leola Glover. The exhibit examines how the couple incorporated concepts of thrift and reuse throughout their lives, and the impact that lifestyle had on their children and extended family.

“My parents both grew up with little money, and during the Depression they used the concepts of reuse as a means of economic and physical survival. They passed those skills onto their children. I was making Christmas ornaments from bottle caps and magazine pictures when I was a preschooler. My father salvaged wood and nails from old pig pen lumber to use while building the house I grew up in. My mother saved eggshells, matchboxes and used greeting cards to make intricate 3-dimensional diorama ornaments. My childhood paper dolls were cut from magazines and Sears Catalogs. When my sister and I played “grocery store”, we used real empty food boxes instead of imitation plastic ones. Is it any wonder that I developed into an artist who simply adores the ‘art of reuse’?”

Sisters Mann and Stadler also have strong memories of everyday reuse. Mann recalls, “One thing I remember vividly was Mom making lye soap by rendering down animal fat saved in a container from every meal. Another memory was Daddy saving every vegetable seed possible from his vegetable gardens – carefully spreading them out to dry for the next year’s crops and then storing them in mason jars, envelopes, or whatever was handy.”

Stadler has equally vivid memories. She reminisces, “I learned a great lesson from both my parents. Things will last forever if you take care of them. To this day, we can still take out Mom’s 1960s aluminum Christmas tree (from the original box) and remove all the limbs from their brown paper sleeves to set it up. Not one sleeve is torn or missing! And Daddy never put a shovel or hoe away dirty. He took care of his tools and machines. Things were bought with the intention of using them till every scrap of use was exhausted. Disposable just wasn’t in their vocabulary.”

The three siblings are bringing a wide variety of personal memorabilia to the exhibit, each piece serving as a detailed example of their parents’ life of thrifty reuse. Collections include boxes and small furniture handcrafted from salvaged wood, well-worn walking canes whittled from tree branches, family scrap quilts, World War II ration books, 1940s photos of a 6’x12’ structure that was “home” to Raymond, Leola and their three oldest children, trinket boxes made from greeting cards, Christmas ornaments created from everyday discards, and much more.

“A Legacy of Thrift” opens Friday, June 15, with a reception from 6-9pm. Opening night festivities will include free make-and-take activities, refreshments, PBR beer and live music by pianist Ronnie Capps. “A Legacy of Thrift” runs from June 15 through July 14.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Re-used with Care" Opens in the Green Gallery May 18

mixed media collage and assemblage by EJ Greaves

“Re-used with Care" opens Friday, May 18 in the Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange. This exhibit features colorful mixed media collage and assemblage by Durham artist EJ Greaves. Greaves collects small everyday items and found objects, and then transforms them into fun and playful art pieces that invite the viewer to play the I-Spy game.  

Greaves has always been attracted to collecting, reusing and recycling found objects in his creations. He studied art at Florida International University in Miami, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree before eventually moving to Durham.

"While in art school I created art for the sake of quantity and quality, while fun and creativity were stripped aside. My life as an artist withered and almost died after graduation, becoming a hibernating seed until my move to North Carolina. Now my work is at a deeply personal root because it is steeped in selfishly using creation as an extension of myself, without regard to what others think."

"Re-used with Care" will run from May 18 through June 9. An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 18 from 6-9pm with live music and refreshments. Green Gallery openings are sponsored by PBR. Admission is free.

The Green Gallery is located inside The Scrap Exchange creative reuse center, at 923 Franklin Street in Durham. The gallery is open to view anytime during regular retail store hours. For more information, call 919-688-6960.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Come to Our Swap-O-Rama-Rama Clothing Swap on April 29

On Sunday, April 29, The Scrap Exchange will host Swap-O-Rama-Rama, a giant community clothing swap that celebrates creativity over consumerism. This public event will take place in the Scrap Exchange party room from 12-4 pm.

To participate, simply bring a bag of old clothing and a $10 donation ($5 for Friend's Club Members), and add your clothing to the huge piles donated by other Swap attendees. You can then search through and take home as much clothing as you want!

DIY stations will also be set up during Swap-O-Rama Rama where participants can experiment with altering clothes and redesigning old clothes to create new outfits. DIY stations will incude sewing machines, sewing notions and tools, an ironing board, trim and accessory supplies, fabric paint, and much more! Music will be provided throughout the afternoon by DJ Piddypat.

This event will mark the 9th Swap-o-Rama-Rama event facilitated by The Scrap Exchange. Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a national program founded by Wendy Tremayne promoting reuse, creativity and community engagement through clothing swaps. For more information on the national Swap-O-Rama-Rama model, go to .

Check out a few pictures from last fall's Swap!