Wreath-making workshop focuses on sustainability

SOLANA BEACH — Holiday celebrants are invited to a wreath-making workshop at the Re-Gallery from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 17. The gallery is located at 348H S. Cedros Ave.
The gallery showcases green art using recycled materials and offers classes in sustainable art.
The event is organized by artist Lester Corral, who serves as general manager of the gallery, and Beth Kwapis, marketing director and sales manager.
A wreath base will be provided to participants who are asked to arrive with pinecones, photos and broken ornaments.
Other recommended materials include old sheet music, reclaimed wood, retro fabric remnants, ribbon, stringed lights and vintage ornaments.
“Bring ornaments that haven’t seen the light of day for a long time,” Kwapis said, smiling.
“This is an opportunity to bring them back to life. Hopefully we can grab magic and make some interesting wreaths.”
Kwapis recommended that participants think about a theme prior to the workshop.
Suggested themes include seashells, school crafts, Disney characters, angels, old Santas, grandmother’s old ornaments and other retro decorations.
“Everything can be reimagined and repurposed,” Corral said. “We encourage people to bring in things to personalize.”
He cautioned that participants should bear in mind that items brought from home should be nonperishable and strong enough so that the wreaths can be enjoyed for holidays to come.
“The workshop offers an opportunity to help the environment, bond with family and friends, and raise money to benefit adults with special needs,” Kwapis added.
Re-Gallery was opened in 2010 by Andris Baltins. His son Nicholas, who has special needs, serves as ambassador.
“The gallery was created to showcase art made with sustainable materials, and to serve as a resource for people with special needs who enjoy art and want to make new friends,” Corral said. “We help out local emerging artists. If they do sustainable art, we’d like to display it.”
Artists currently featured at the gallery include Nia Gipson, Rodney (Rodrigo) McCoubrey, Karla Leopold, Sean Brannan, Michael Hammond, Tom Tomlinson, Patrick Haemmerlein, Seth Tegardine, Janelle Carter, Uve Hamilton and Andrea Holeman.
“Since we are a sustainable art gallery, we are affordable,” Corral added. “We want to make collectors out of a lot of people.”
An artist himself, Corral’s “For Nature” furniture and sculpture line is made exclusively with scrap wood.
His wooden handbags, made of scrap wood and recycled fabrics, have been worn by celebrities including Pink, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Mariah Carey and Yukimi Nagano.
Kwapis, who has a Master of Arts in art history and museum studies, recently joined the gallery. She previously worked at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido and the National Museum of the Marine Corps (art wing) in Quantico, Va.
Re-Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. They are closed on Monday.
Light refreshments will be served at the wreath workshop. Cost is $25 per person, $45 per adult plus one child, and $75 for three siblings accompanied by a parent. Reservations must be made by Dec. 15. Call (858) 259-2001.
For more information, visit regallery.org.

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