Finger Lakes ReUse, Ithaca Murals, Words Into Deeds and local artists partnered together on this ambitious project, completed in 2021, to complete five unique art installations at the Ithaca ReUse Center (214 Elmira Rd). Each piece reflects themes of reuse impacts that connect to at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals “are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

These projects demonstrate the direct connection between all 17 goals and the act of reuse. Highlighting the many impacts of reuse beyond the more visible such as waste reduction and responsible production, this project has transformed the Ithaca ReUse Center (and a box truck!) into a vibrant community space that invites its visitors to reflect on the impacts of their shopping, donating, and volunteering. Learn more about each artist and piece below!

This project is supported by an Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant, provided by the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Additional funding provided by the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County and Park Foundation.

On December 1st, Finger Lakes ReUse and Ithaca Murals invited the public to view 5 installations at the Ithaca ReUse Center reflecting themes of reuse impacts that connect to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Terrance Vann

Terrance is an award-winning multidisciplinary painter, illustrator and muralist from Wilmington, DE, now based in Ithaca, NY. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and then at the Art Institute in Philadelphia where he also developed as a designer and graphic artist. Terrance’s work, uniquely described as afro-surrealist, is vividly colorful and aims to portray the surreal world of our imaginations. His works are very expressive and are treated as focal points for developing creative solutions to the complexities faced by communities across the globe.  Terrance says, “Creating a more vibrant future through artful leadership makes my passion come alive!”

Audra Linsner

Audra Linsner is a muralist and graphic designer from Canandaigua, NY. She has a penchant for all things typography and draws a good deal of inspiration from vintage designs. In her spare time, she loves eating ice cream, blasting 80s tunes, and taking a million pictures of her tiny nephew. 

Audra says that her mural for ReUse was a “unique and amazing opportunity. I wanted to create something that embodied the organization while also emphasizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As everyone has experienced, the past few years have been incredibly difficult and draining for so many reasons. With the murders of many Black/Brown/other marginalized folks at the hands of white supremacy, it felt a bit out of place to imagine this sort of idyllic world that the 17 goals live in. But it forced me to realize that there are people out there, all over the globe (like the wonderful people at ReUse!) who work day in and day out to implement change in many, many different ways. In a way, this is a small testament to those change makers and a reminder to us all that we have to put in the work to make a better society a reality.”

Bradford Leiby

Bradford Leiby is from Corning NY. He has always enjoyed the public art in Ithaca and is excited to be a part of it. Over the past 10 years, he has painted murals in both Corning and Elmira. He’s worked with different organizations, artists, and students on large scale projects. Working on paintings in his studio is how he spends most of his time, but bringing meaningful art to a public space is what he is most passionate about. 

Bradford’s design depicts a nest of sparrows that has been built on top of a bottle tipped on its side. Inside the bottle, a skyline of Ithaca and some details of the town are shown. The bottle is a symbol of reuse and recycling. It is also why the design is called “Message In a Bottle”. The city inside the bottle is self-sustaining like a terrarium. The “Ithaca in a bottle” is a suitable place for the birds to make a home, representing harmony with nature. The birds also represent sustainability, community, and partnership. Sparrows are birds that make their nests out of bits of found objects and are regularly seen hopping around and living around humans.

Annemarie Zwack

Annemarie Zwack is a visual artist, specializing in engaging others in creative processes to help them realize their goals. Check out her TEDx talk to see how community built public art can affect social change! This mural was inspired by suggestions from the ReUse community, including the idea of the sunflower, and a people moving vehicle, like in “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, which were responses to Zwack’s question “If you could make a machine out of everyday objects, to heal the planet, what would it look like, and how would it work?

Nick Gilbert

Nick Gilbert specializes in creating one-of-a-kind stone mosaic and veneer artwork for Interior and exterior applications. His services include design, fabrication and installation of custom, site-specific pieces. He worked on the major renovation of the historic Argos Inn in Ithaca NY and was awarded a certificate of excellence by the New York State Historic Preservation Society. Nick’s mosaic at the Ithaca ReUse Center incorporates a huge creative variety of tiny objects found at ReUse and elsewhere. It is a tessellating design in tile, stone, metal, wood,  tools, & more!