When I was in my 20s, I managed a nonprofit art gallery.
Aside from just being a really amazing job, one of the perks was that galleries are on really great P.R. lists, meaning we would get the most beautiful posters in the mail.
Some of them ended up on the walls, but far more of them received a more, shall we say, ephemeral and, ahem creative, use.
Sounds a bit horrifying, I know. Full color, quality paper, beautifully designed museum and gallery posters, torn to shreds on Christmas morning. But we would get dozens of these things a month. It was always a good day when I got to the mail first, because I learned this trick from the gallery director, and we would try to beat each other to the best ones. Granted, some of them we kept– I framed a gorgeous Agnes Martin “poster”; it’s actually a full color offset lith on rice paper. I gave others to friends.
But most of them ended up under the Christmas tree. To give you some perspective, I worked there from 1981 to 1986. I still have several posters from this period, rolled up and waiting to be used.
The point, of course, is that most of these, even the very beautiful ones, were bound to end up in the trash. The thing with “creative re-use” is that you can’t be afraid to creatively reuse things, just because they seem so, well, useful.
What do you “creatively re-use” for the holidays?