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LCAC Gallery Show

The Leland Cultural Arts Center Gallery will be full of trash this month. Plastic: Lost and Found features the sculptures of Robert Anderson, a Wilmington artist who turns found plastic materials into beautiful artwork that tells a story of reclaiming and reforming our cast off materials. The show runs until April 29 and can be viewed Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 am to 9 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. The LCAC is closed Sunday. Social distancing rules apply.

Anderson describes himself as an “Abstract Eco-Materialist” and has a background in architectural design. “My artwork focuses on reusing plastic waste and reforming it into abstract art to help circumvent the flow of plastic into the environment,” he said. “I allow the plastic’s texture, color and form that I find on the beach, roadside & dumpster to determine the direction of each artwork. My artwork examines the human condition and its relationship and dependence on plastic. By using reclaimed plastic as my art medium, I hope to encourage others to explore this overabundant material.

“I started to use reclaimed plastic as a reaction to the amount of plastic waste produced during ‘Beach nourishment’ at Holden Beach in 2017. I realized that as an artist, I needed to be proactive to help circumvent the flow of plastic waste into the environment,” he explained.

A heat gun and pliers serve as Anderson’s version of a painters brush or sculptors chisel. Some plastic works better than others for his art. “My favorite plastic consists of polystyrene, which is generally packing foam and party cups — this the hardest plastic to recycle. Single-use detergent containers are a great source for colors. I find most of my art supplies (like plastic waste) from beach cleanups, roadside and dumpster diving,” he said, adding that it takes anywhere from three hours to three years to complete a piece.

Anderson’s artwork has been displayed at Wilmington’s Cameron Museum of Art and at The Scrap Exchange in Durham, but the LCAC show will feature mostly new and revised work not shown before, he said.

Looking to the future, Anderson said he has plans to continue and expand his reclamation efforts. “I want my art practice/studio to become an off-grid community reclaim center where collecting, cleaning, sorting of plastic waste is reformed into art and architectural products. I would like to do more large-scale installation projects and commissioned pieces utilizing an individual’s plastic waste,” he said.

To learn more about Robert Anderson and his work, visit his website at


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