Poetree by Elizabeth Afshar

Reduce, reuse, recycle. In an age where environmental consciousness is the norm, we are used to hearing these three words. But let’s be honest, the three R’s aren’t exactly the most fun (or easy) of tasks. Bold Doors 2012 changes that. Organized by SMART (Sustainable Material + Art), a Boulder-based, volunteer initiative working with the Center for Resource Conservation (CRC), Bold Doors 2012 challenged artists (both professional and amateur) to use a reclaimed door and transform it into art. The result? Ninety-seven one-of-a-kind doors that combine art with sustainability.

Cat Scratch by Sally Mills

As a walking exhibition, Bold Doors 2012 is not your run-of-the-mill art show. Instead of viewing all of the pieces in one area, the doors are dispersed in various businesses across Boulder. Using the official Bold Doors map as a guide, the exhibition turned into a scavenger hunt of sorts. While each business displayed the number of the door they had in an easily visible area, finding the doors themselves wasn’t as simple. Sure, there were those businesses that display the door in the storefront window, but for the majority, doors were placed further in the business, inviting the viewer to come inside.

With nearly 100 doors submitted, the variety of creativity was astounding. Artists used all sorts of doors: cabinet doors, closet doors, entry doors and even an Easy Bake oven door (among others). While the majority of artists did not alter their doors (you can still tell that it’s a door), many transformed them into functional pieces. Take for example “Cat Scratch” by Sally Mills. Mills converted her door into a cat scratching station outfitted with dangling toys, climbing steps and a perch on top for your furry friend. Or there’s “Reading Door,” a door transformed into a seat equipped with slots underneath to store books.

It’s Got Something for Everybody by Jim Bloomer and Dottie Oatman

Other artists incorporated reused and recycled materials (other than the door itself) into their pieces. In “Poetree,” Elizabeth Afshar created a tree mosaic using recycled glass tile and resin. Similarly, Jim Bloomer and Dottie Oatman used a plethora of reused materials such as rusted nails, bottle caps, wine corks, wire, keys, pistachio shells and golf balls (among other materials) in their piece “It’s Got Something for Everybody.”

Then there were artists that took a more traditional route. Using acrylics, oils and enamels, these doors depict anything from dogs to the natural world to abstract shapes.

Reading Door by Greg Morse

Regardless of the method chosen, these doors illustrate the plethora of ways reused and recycled materials can be incorporated (and transformed) into art. At the same time, Bold Doors 2012 provides a platform for local artists (both professional and amateur) to get their work into the public sphere. In fact, all doors are purchasable via an online silent auction with proceeds benefitting the artists and the Center for Resource Conservation. Viewers can also vote for their favorite door online.

Bold Doors 2012 runs through August 2 with a closing Door Jam Celebration on August 4. For artists, maps and more information, visit sustainablematerialart.wordpress.com.


Jessica Kleinman is an art and culture intern/writer for 303 Magazine. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her posts on Twitter