During Studio's B's annual effort to celebrate the environment and Earth Day, the gallery opened UPCYCLE:REFRESH recently and awarded artists for their creativity and skillful use of repurposed materials. Awards were sponsored by Liberty Environmental, Inc.

First place was awarded to Sara Benowitz for 'Old Bags Need Attention, Too,' a full-length dress created from plastic bag pieces and the interiors of silver mylar-coated plastic bags.

Benowitz reflected on her creation: 'Although it is wonderful that 100% polyethylene plastic bags can be recycled into outdoor furniture and decks by the company Trex which picks up used gags from recycling bins in grocery store lobbies, most bags are not 100% polyethylene and cannot be recycled.'

'Such bags end up in the trash, in landfills, the ocean, and last almost forever even though they were created to be disposed after only a single use. Knowing this has caused me to stop buying certain products merely to avoid collecting more non-recyclable bags,' she continued.

Second place: Bob Hakun for 'Your Warranty Has Expired'; Third Place: Deborah Hamburger for 'Climate Change'; Best Use of Materials: Sharon McGinley for 'Cross'; Honorable Mentions to Will Ursprung for 'False Face,' Patti Tinsman-Schaffer for her hand-made book 'Ode,' and Peter Rampson for 'Folder Tome #9.' Curator's Choice was awarded to Daniel Gorman for his assemblage entitled 'The Artist.'

'Artists are inherently creative at figuring out ways to give beauty, value and life to an otherwise blank canvas,' notes gallery director Susan Biebuyck. ''Upcycling,' a popular and contemporary word for re-use, proudly showcases this idea in fine art,' she explained.

'This exhibit has been on my 'bucket list' since Studio B opened; I'm personally dedicated to keeping whatever I can out of our landfills,' Biebuyck concluded.

UpCycle:ReFresh runs through May 10, 2014; the gallery's normal hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Friday evenings for third Friday openings 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and by appointment by contacting Susan Biebuyck, 484-332-2757, suebie@ptd.net or Jane Stahl, janeEstahl@comcast.net, 610-563-7879.

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