The Landfillart Project is an artistic endeavor that tries to get people thinking about the amount of trash they generate, by repurposing hubcaps as unique artworks.
The idea was thought up by Ken Marquis, from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who has spent the last three years convincing other artists from all the US states and 52 foreign countries to give old hubcaps the artistic treatment. Ken got the idea to use hubcaps while attending an auto show near Allentown, where a collection of 41 rusted wheel covers inspired and got him thinking they could be repurposed. He bought the entire cache for $82, and just a few weeks later acquired 1,000 more, from a collector in Quakertown.
After getting his hands on enough material, he called twenty of his artist friends and asked them to use their artistic talent to turn the vintage hubcaps he had acquired into recycled masterpieces. Then he started searching the Internet for suitable from foreign artists, and asking them if they wanted to get involved in his Landfillart Project. Marquis says that one of the most frequent answers was something along the lines of ”`You want me to find a hubcap in my own country and pay for that, and you want me to pay for (the materials to make) this piece of great art, and then you want me to ship it to you at my expense, and then you want me to gift it to you? Am I understanding you correctly? OK, yeah, I’m in.’” “Artists get it”, Ken says.
Discarded metal and plastic hubcaps usually end up in people’s backyards or in landfills so Ken Marquis thought they were the perfect medium to raise awareness to the amount of trash people produce and to convince them there is always a way of repurposing most of it. The Landfillart Project currently numbers over 800 hubcap artworks, but Ken hopes to add another 150, and complete the collection, by early 2012. But artists weren’t the only ones who contributed to the Landfillart Project. In fact, around 20% of the hubcaps were converted by amateurs, from inmates, to disabled veterans, people suffering from autism and Down syndrome.