The GOOD TO GO Coffee Cup Canvas Project in Dumbo, NY

As part of the DO School Sustainable Cup Challenge Fellowship here in Brooklyn, NY, my fellows and I organized the creation and dispersal of 13 coffee cup canvases to NYC based artists. I held on to 2 and contributed some artwork to the project as well.

The Cup Canvas Project arose as an artistic and community response to the dilemma of the millions of coffee cups disposed of daily in NYC. Normally, these cups landfilled up to 500 miles away or “downcycled” into inferior paper products. Our cup canvases demonstrate that wasted materials can become something wonderful.

A canvas is made by covering a wooden panel with 10 cups (a New Yorker’s weekly average). Together the 16 panels represent 2 seconds of cups disposed of in NYC.

Artworks such as these may not solve the severity of our wastefulness, but they provide a fresh way to see the issue and offer a platform for conversation about hyper-consumption and our disposable culture.

For more info on the Good To Go campaign and projects visit:

Cupcycle Artworks on Display and Auction 4/22 in Dumbo

The acquisition, cleaning, stapling, flattening, opening, nailing, and painting of single-use coffee cups has occupied a lot of my time for these last few weeks. I am excited to see what comes of it all in the next few days as we prepare for the final Good to Go exposition and event for the Sustainable Cup Challenge which we are planning.

If you are in NYC, then come join us in Dumbo on 4/22 at the reclaimed wood showroom of the Hudson Company, from 6 to 9. There will be a bit of live music, food and refreshments, the unveiling of a collaborative piece with a local stitch-master, and a silent auction of the coffee cup canvas panels which 14 artists (myself included) have been tasked to paint/create on.

The eventbrite page can be found at:

Heart Wave Dorje Video and Description

This is a small video of a large Heart Wave Dorje from the beautiful hills of Colombia just North of Bogota. I have always been attracted to the dorje symbol and object from the time that I encountered it in use amongst Tibetan Buddhists. I started making my particular takes on them in early 2009 when I was living on the island of Oahu and going to school at the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley, and the inspiration had come some months earlier when I was hiking on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai.

As I looked up into the twilight sky above the stretching ocean horizon where the sun had just set, I focused my eyes on several stars that had started to appear as the light drained from the sky. As I loosened my fixed gaze I saw a movement descend vertically between the stars and spin them into two separate sets. This created the essential form of the dorje before me. Then I noticed another movement that seemed the response of the spinning chambers; a horizontal, inward whirlpool force that seen from a distance created two heart-like shapes that met in the central spinning.

Once I had the time and wire at my fingertips, I began to make basically what I had created in my vision that day. The polarized hearts looked like lightbulb coils and it brought me great joy to make them. Since that first one I have probably only made about seven or eight others, but am looking forward to bending several more (smaller than the one in the video) as part of my Crowdfunding Campaign, currently live on


The Crowdfunding Campaign for Jo’s NYC Fellowship is Alive!

The many hours of writing, painting, singing, bead-work, metal bending, web design, talking and editing, the crowdfunding campaign for my NYC Do School Fellowship has been released from my humming computer to the vast world of the wide web!

I am excited to post regularly during this month of crowdfunding with photos of the new paintings and artworks that I have made, samples of notes from past educational programs, a random video or song thrown into the mix, and some explanations for why I have chosen to focus on these certain offerings and styles.

Below and here you will find a link to the Indiegogo campaign, the links to the pages I have set up here onsite with a sampling of the artworks that I have made to exchange for your generous contributions, as well as some of the text from the campaign. Thank you kindly and please share it on your social networks and such!

Support and share the campaign at

5x5 TTP s

Job's Tear Square s

Heart Wave Dorje square s

Greetings! My name is Jo and I am from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Two years ago I initiated work in South Africa to “upcycle” an old dumping site into the home of the Trash to Treasure Festivals. It is my passion to show people how they can use “trash” beneficially for the upliftment of their communities. I am also a passionate artist and am gladdened by the opportunity to make more art.

I recently was accepted to the Sustainable Cup Challenge Fellowship in New York City with The DO School. The main goal of the fellowship is to prepare and guide young entrepreneurs through the challenges of starting and sustaining a successful project in response to a pressing issue in their communities. I want to build upon the work that I have accomplished in South Africa and establish an eco-brick program in Santa Fe that addresses local plastic pollution.

Your contributions to this campaign will provide me with the support I need to participate in the NYC fellowship, to take my upcycling projects to the next level, and to produce a new series of artworks as well.