Art FORM…where creative reuse takes shape!

The San Diego Union Tribune Article about Alleys in Action – February 18, 2018

It was an alley full of folks as we partnered with UCSD Urban Planning and Studies Department, and the UCSD Bioregional Center, and neighboring businesses at yesterday’s event. Creative reuse was in action as students and their art work were displayed and Art FORM asked the community to draw their visions of alley art or improvements such as greener spaces, more walkable paths, and of course, being mindful of recycling, and how discarded plastic might start in the alley and end up in the ocean.  It was a great community event for all.



February and March News and Events at Art FORM

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Art FORM is thrilled to engage the public with art and creative reuse during the Alleys in Action Event on February 17th, from 1-4pm! Stay tuned for more!





      Join Art FORM and The Princess Project San Diego on Sunday, February 11th from 11 AM – 2 PM for a Valentine inspired workshop! Participants will enjoy fun sips and bites while creating beautiful art cards and jeweled hairpins. 100% of the proceeds from this event will go to Princess Project! Workshop fee is $25. Help send a teen to prom and spend a wonderful Sunday crafting art! Limited Seating – reserve your spot today!

Art FORM is also hosting a Dress Drive during the workshop. Bring any gently used formal or prom dresses and accessories to donate to The Princess Project!

The Princess Project mission statement is “The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school teens who cannot otherwise afford them. Our effort is made possible through invaluable volunteer, donor, and community support.”

At Art FORM, we aim to soar to new heights with a new collaboration and sculpture project with Gabriel Dice.
 This past fall 1st graders from Normal Height Elementary came to Art FORM for a workshop about air and wind, making weather vanes, their own kite-bird puppet, and having the special experience of adding glass pieces to a White Tail Kite sculpture created by Gabriel Dice.  Erin Pennell created a bird puppet project to emulate the “hovering” quality of the kite bird’s flight, captured in concrete and glass (with some recycled pieces) by Gabriel. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Give the gift of art education with creative reuse–Donate to Art FORM this year –  2017.

The Faile Foundation has challenged us to raise $5,000 by December 31 and they will match every dollar (up to $5,000) we raise. This means your gift will be doubled – your $50 gift will become $100, your $100 gift will become $200

Our summer class workshops were a blast!! Check back to learn about our workshops involving climate change as we partner with San Diego Gas & Electric on this year’s Environmental Champion initiative.  Here are a few highlights from summer:


Art FORM Community Programs

This is one of VIP families from Normal Heights Elementary. These students have come for school workshops and then were inspired to come on Saturday to gather supplies to continue their creativity at home. Thanks to Lourdes and her two children for being a part of community programs.


This Lucha Libre has BIG muscles! And he can even balance despite his incredible arms! Second graders from Normal Heights Elementary visit and make balancing toys.

Since July 2011, Art FORM has been providing arts education with creative reuse to schools and the community for little or no cost; making recycled materials accessible for projects; and helping students discover an art form that promotes ingenuity and creative problem solving.

The San Diego Zoo's Education Department made a visit to Art FORM (see more photos on Blog/Photo page)

The San Diego Zoo’s Education Department made a visit to Art FORM (see more photos on Blog/Photo page)


Thanks to our partner SDG&E, Art FORM is able to offer more workshops in the 2016 school year to local public schools who need it most.  We are so pleased to have partnered with SDG&E through its Environmental Champion Initiative and look forward to expanding our programs in the Mid-City schools and the community.


ArtFORM is dedicated to helping promote arts instruction and environmental awareness in San Diego schools.  A surplus of materials exists for arts instruction and other projects, but organizing, sorting and making available this surplus and highlighting its potential reuse is a primary goal.  Art instruction with the creative reuse of these materials makes this a unique and vital program for San Diego schools and the community.


Creative reuse is the process that transforms any clean, safe, reusable scrap item into an object of interest or beauty.  This process can involve paper, wood, plastics, fabric, some metal, and a variety of found objects (natural and human-made).  Creative reuse does include blue bin items, but its breadth goes far beyond curbside recycling.  Every household and every business likely has materials to contribute.  Through its arts education workshops, Art FORM can help the public become more mindful of the kinds of items that can be donated and put to use in a wide variety of school curricula and community projects. (See our donations list/page)

Schools with limited or no arts education are encouraged to book workshops for little or no cost as a way to expose their students to creative reuse and its possibilities.  Schools with existing arts programs will find new and innovative ways to enhance their instruction and curriculum in these workshops for low cost.

How Does Art FORM Benefit the Community?

  • Promotes landfill diversion, maximizing the use of clean recycled materials in art and education
  • Provides workshops for K-12 students, teachers, and the community where commonly discarded items are transformed into objects of beauty, usefulness, and interest
  • Conducts educational outreach activities, such as free art projects at street fairs, festivals, and other community events
  • Promotes awareness and implementation of sustainable practices in art, education, and daily activities, especially for underserved populations
  • Promotes ingenuity and creative problem solving in art and everyday life
  • Encourages community service and volunteerism
  • Ultimately, provides a large central facility where donated recycled items are displayed and made available for little or no cost
  • Art FORM is a nonprofit 501c3, so contributions are tax deductible!

What’s Next?

  • Continue to grow Art FORM as a strong arts education program emphasizing creative reuse
  • Engage representatives from arts, environmental, and educational organizations as well as businesses and local governments to support Art FORM in:
    •  acquiring a larger storefront with space for sorting, organizing, and displaying donated materials and conducting workshops
    •  procuring funding for ongoing program activities
    •  forming community collaborations
  • Acquire a vehicle for transporting donated materials


For more information about free or low-cost creative reuse workshops for students and the community please contact us.

Erin Pennell
Founder/Teaching Artist
3316 Adams Avenue, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92116