Young artists turn trash into treasures

July 6, 2012 (CHICAGO)

A couple of young artists are turning piles of trash into show-case treasures.

Lindsey Burritt and Crystal Grover wanted to help the planet, but they also wanted to make a living. The two young friends found a way to do both. And with their artistic company, they are showing us all a creative way to live green.

The recent Columbia College graduates are living their dream. Burritt and Grover have a company called Indo. They design window installations, pieces of art aimed at drawing customers into a business. And they create all their artwork using recycled materials.

"It started out looking in dumpsters and recycling rooms of buildings, and now we're starting to reach out to companies and sometimes people reach out to us," said Burritt.

Linsey was a graphic design major, Crystal studied interior architecture. They both were passionate about the environment. So they got together and started doing small projects. Now they are recognized and respected as a growing force in the design world specializing in sustainability.

"We are very inspired by the material we see and it is this uncontrollable thing that happens. We see it and get all these ideas in our heads what to do with it," said Grover.

What they've done with it is to create breath-taking pieces for clients like the Steppenwolf Theater. A recent installation there was made from 6,000 pounds of folded paper. And they've done dazzling displays for all types of retailers as well as designers like Jason Wu.

For these enterprising young women, the real goal is to open minds about the environment one person at a time.

"A friend had walked by a window and told her sister she was going to buy a cup because we made it out of the Styrofoam cups from the dumpster. And for one person to change their behavior because they saw the material we were using, that's what we want to contribute to," Grover said.

Look for the Indo ladies' art during the Taste of Chicago. Just find the area where the famous chefs are working and look up! Their work will form the ceiling of the 'chef du jour' space. It's like their own version of the Sistine Chapel.

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