Moab Taiko Dan drummers will perform at the Upcycled Art Party on Saturday, Nov. 19. [Photo courtesy of Claire Core]

In the spirit of America Recycles Day, Moab’s Resiliency Hub is hosting its third annual Upcycled Art Party this weekend.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6 to 10 p.m., festivities will fill every room at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North. The Upcycled Art Party provides a platform for people of all ages to explore and celebrate the concept of “creative reuse” of found materials.

Admission is based on a sliding scale of $5 to $10, and live entertainment for the evening will include drumming performances from Moab Taiko Dan and the Fiery Furnace Marching Band.

Partygoers can also expect displays from local student artists and submissions from the public in the Community Arts Contest. Kaki’s Kitchen will provide an interactive “Make-Your-Own Toast” bar with homemade sourdough bread, and dip-master Sarah Perez-Sanz of the Youth Garden Project will donate gourmet spreads.

This year’s featured artist is Dre Carmen, who was also Moab Art Walk’s November Artist of the Month.

“My pieces are created from items left behind by these earlier residents – rusted motor oil cans from temporary mining towns, old tobacco and bean tins from cowboy camps,” Carmen said.

“And I gather energy from the spirit of the ancient peoples who populated this valley centuries before. I want my art to reflect the overwhelming feelings of humility, responsibility, wellness and gratefulness I experience living within these canyon walls.”

Claire Core has been on the board of directors of what is now known as the Resiliency Hub since 2014 – the same year the Upcycled Art Party was created. She says the event is a celebration of creative reuse of materials by “reimagining unused items into functional and/or interesting art pieces.”

Core considers “upcycled art” as a type of folk art that comes out of the resources that are available in a geographic area.

“So it is very reflective of the type of people and type of environment that surrounds us,” she says. “It’s amazing how many creative people we have in this community… but (it) isn’t surprising since we have such an interesting history as well as such a beautiful and inspiring landscape.”

Core says the Resiliency Hub, formerly known as Canyonlands Community Recycling (CCR), reaches out far and wide to the community to summon artists for the event. She says a surprising number of people within the community make upcycled art – sometimes even out of necessity. The Community Art Contest is open for public submissions.

“Dre Carmen … submitted his large structural pieces to the contest last year and we were blown away, so we asked him to be the featured artist this year,” Core said. “Dre’s pieces are really incredible.”

Core says the inspiration for the event came from the popularity of the nonprofit’s annual Trashion Show, which is the upcycled costume contest and dance party held in February.

“The nonprofit was originally formed to open and run the Moab Recycling Center in the early 1990s,” she said. “By the mid 2000s, the Solid Waste District took over the operations of the Recycling Center and CCR transitioned into an educational role to inform the community about its recycling options. In the past year, those of us on the board of directors have decided to broaden our activities.”

The Resiliency Hub’s new mission is “to enhance well-being on the Colorado Plateau by integrating infrastructure, ecosystems and economy.”

“We provide education and practical opportunities to rethink, retrofit and regenerate our community,” Core said.

While the nonprofit is in the strategic planning stage of its rebranding, its board members know that Moab can expect these festivities to continue offering creative ways to celebrate the reuse of materials.

Upcycled Art Party comes to MARC on Nov. 19

“It’s amazing how many creative people we have in this community… but (it) isn’t surprising since we have such an interesting history as well as such a beautiful and inspiring landscape.”

When: Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North

Cost: Sliding scale of $5 to $10

To submit a piece to the Community Arts Contest, or for more information, contact Gabe Woytek of Resiliency Hub at