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Tantalizing Talento

Imaginative recycling: Houston's first Green Arts Festival gives sustainable creativity a voice

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Talento Bilingue de Houston Courtesy of Talento Bilingüe de Houston
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Artists are increasingly tossing the toxic turpentine and inorganic paints for greener studio staples. That trend will be on full display Saturday at Talento Bilingüe de Houston's inaugural Green Arts Festival.

At the event, environmental consciousness is key, with reused media and recycled art taking center stage. "I've switched a lot of my painting to be more sustainable," says Houston artist Janise Cookston, who will present her work at the festival. Cookston became involved via the Houston ReMarket, a sort of green garage sale cum street fair.

Since then, she's become drawn to such media as reclaimed wood, reused magazines and damaged art supply merchandise. "I do drawings on pages of old books and frame them," she says. "There are lots of different techniques to be sustainable in my work."

Dozens of other local green artisans will converge at the East Side cultural enclave to share products and ideas. The festival has been created in partnership with GreeniRecycling, Houston Green Scene and Planeta Verde Now.

The event will culminate in a community theater performance of The Last Paving Stone by the Flor Y Canto sustainable green theater campThe production aims to be the first-ever theater show entirely composed of recycled objects.

"As a theater person, I've started to see a lot of overlaps in the theater world that are naturally green," says the play's director and festival organizer Tiffani Pust. "Frankly, we operate on a budget, so we're always thinking about what we can do to save materials."

That idea became more apparent through two years of working with the Air Alliance Houston's Ozone Theater, in which Pust helped bring pollution education to classrooms across the city.

"I thought it was be even stronger to make a completely recycled theater piece, and then I realized that there are so many other artists doing green things." The rest is green history.

The Green Arts Festival will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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