trinity commons gains a short-term tenant with a long-term vision

What can we do with what we already have? That simple question drives two movements that are rapidly gaining momentum and reshaping Cleveland: urban farming and deconstruction -- because, for better or worse, land and condemned buildings are plentiful. In the same glass-half-full spirit, some local artists are turning to items that would otherwise have ended up in landfills to change perceptions about "trash," and perhaps spawn a new industry.

As the playful name hints, Pop-Up Gift Shop will open only briefly, from November 18 through December 19, at 2242 Euclid Ave., in Trinity Commons. The store will feature "handmade, reasonably priced, whimsical, interesting gifts crafted with an emphasis on reuse from local artists" -- like jewelry made from copper wire and liquor bottles, oil paintings on old Styrofoam, nightlights with shades made from artificial sweetener packets, and windchimes and ornaments from old bicycle parts, to name just a few.

The idea came when reuse artists Nicole McGee and Trish Supples met Dean Tracy Lind of Trinity Cathedral at the Sustainability Summit. McGee and Supples were looking for ways to promote "upcycling" -- McGee, for example, crafts colorful, decorative flowers out of old floor tiles -- and Lind had a storefront in need of an entrepreneur. Pop-Up was born.

"We were able to find a ton of artists" to participate, says Supples. And not all have tried this before. "Some established artists are taking this as a challenge to try reuse or upcycling."

On her web site,, McGee explains: "My creations are an extension of my view of the world -- that beauty and potential lie dormant all around us.  Finding beauty underfoot is only one part of the process. Looking comes first. The waste stream of consumer culture is full of creative potential. Throw away less and create more!"

Source: Trish Supples
Writer: Frank W. Lewis

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