MoGreena arts fest fuses area artists, businesses

Waste Oil Recyclers look to channel locals’ energy to create energy for locals

By Kyle Carrozza, Staff Writer, The Times

Artist Paula J. Myers-McDevitt discusses her work with an observer.

Artist Paula J. Myers-McDevitt discusses her work with an observer.

MODENA – Electricity, art, food, fuel, creativity, cultural movement—all of these things require the management of energy.

At their site in Modena, better known as MoGreena, Waste Oil Recyclers channeled the energy of their surroundings during their Second Annual Harvest Art Party on Wednesday night.

The Waste Oil Recyclers, an organization that turns used cooking oil into biofuel, brought together nearby artists and businesses to promote their cause of finding sustainable energy sources and supporting the local economy.

With beer from Victory Brewing, food from caterer Sarah Sinton, and music by Sam Smick, the evening took on the feel of a backyard barbecue where the neighbors consisted of brewers, cooks, musicians, and artists.

MoGreena Chief Seed Planter Jimmy Lee Bricker said that bringing together individuals with varied backgrounds helped in putting together Wednesday night’s event as well as helping MoGreena in many of its endeavors in the past.

“When you get a lot of people that are very impassioned about a lot of different things that overlap together, it is intense, it’s big,” he said of the site, which houses multiple businesses. “You see woodworkers working with metalworkers. You see diesel mechanics working with soil producers. You see soil producers feeding back into the woodworkers, and everyone’s always feeding into one another in some positive way.”

Director of Communications Brenda McNeil said that the event was not just the result of efforts at MoGreena but also a means to garner community involvement.

Along with contributions from local artists, MoGreena had its own art around the site, including this "Tim Burton-esque" pumpkin display.

Along with contributions from local artists, MoGreena had its own art around the site, including this “Tim Burton-esque” pumpkin display.

“Bringing people here sets the example; our mission every day, we recycle everything, we repurpose everything,” she said.

The idea of recycling and repurposing energy and objects was present not just in the hosting site but also in the art and even the walls the art was displayed on, made of repurposed pallets covered in burlap.

Recycling also fed into the creative processes of many of the artists present on the night.

Paula J. Myers-McDevitt, who also writes fashion and costume design textbooks, uses pieces of costumes, fabrics, and paper to create stylized collage-like pieces.

Collagist Annie Sinton uses scrap glass to create her pieces. She said that her collages are not only influenced by but depend on discarded items and materials.

“They make my creative process. I’m forced to use them, so the only thing I can do is change the shape,” Sinton said.

Jeweler Tara Segar agreed. Segar uses natural gems and minerals to create jewelry.

“It has to be more organic that way and more authentic,” she said. “When I find something, then I can create a piece around it versus looking for something to make.”

Caterer Sarah Sinton, who cooked for MoGreena every week over the summer, said that she finds her inspiration and ingredients from the site itself. On Wednesday night, she incorporated spinach and sweet potatoes from the organic garden.

“Everything is centered around what is growing currently,” she said. “You’re limited by what is growing at the time; those limitations force you to figure out what to do with the things that are available to you.”

The evening’s energy was not just about individual businesses and artists but polarizing the impetus to change the local community.

Art included paintings, jewelry, and collages, many of which used recycled materials.

Art included paintings, jewelry, and collages, many of which used recycled materials.

Woodburner Eddie Aaronson, who was displaying his art for the first time on Wednesday, said that not only did he talk to multiple artists interested in collaborating, but many of the attendees in general shared a  similar passion for the local community.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to is like-minded. They’re all about giving back. It’s all about just bettering the community in general,” he said.

Bricker said that his organization wants to build a mutually beneficial relationship with its surroundings.

“I think this benefits Modena, MoGreena, Coatesville, and all the surrounding areas by providing an incubator for small businesses,” he said. “The kids that come from the surrounding community are always excited. They’re excited about eating the food they helped plant and grow, and in many instances bringing that food or seeds back to their home to start their own gardens.”

He said that in the future he hopes that MoGreena can help get residents positively involved in Modena while also providing sustainable electricity and food for those residents.

Such ambitions require a litany of resources, efforts, and people to cooperate, but whether because of the passions and collaborations involved, MoGreena is equipped with the force that puts everything in motion—energy.

Pin It

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment