Texas Strong! Houston Art Project

UPDATE: The online auction has been relaunched and is live until October 20, 2017 at 11:59 pm. Visit http://www.32auctions.com/houstonreclamation

On September 12, 2017, Reclamation Artist Armando Heredia traveled by car from Buckeye, Arizona (Phoenix Metro) to Houston, Texas. The goal was to create artwork from flood debris in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey and auction it online at an upcycle marketplace called Kuttlefish.com. This is a journal style blog of Armando’s social media posts on Facebook and Instagram.

The Gofundme was a great help. Russ Cripps and Acacia Church in Baton Rouge (we helped raise funds in 2016 when their town flooded) were very generous. Mark Segraves and Encounter Church were also amazingly generous. A friend from Kentucky named Mike Stansberry donated through the Gofundme, as well. All of these funds, plus the two days of paid time off I got from work were enough to get me there and back.

At this point, I had made contact with my pastor in Gilbert, AZ who had a former student that was pastoring in the Houston area. Joseph Rios was very excited to collaborate on the project. The church he pastors is mobile, so they didn’t have a building I could stay/work in for the week. It just happened that the day we were on the phone a friend of his was there and told him his church could host me, probably. Well, I’ve gone on less than that before, so I packed up and headed to Houston without a clear picture of where I was going.

Rest stop. 40 Winks. #east #houstonbound #artworking #reststop

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Turned out that the Ashford Community Church was a great host. They had converted several rooms in their building into a staging area for volunteers and supplies. Pastor John Parks was very gracious and gave me a key to the building so I could come and go at my own pace.

This was the first neighborhood I visited and collected debris from. One of the young ladies who worked at the church lived in one of these apartments. There is always such an emotional impact when you visit the scene of a tragedy and view first hand the devastation that people are facing.


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The Houston Reclamation Art Project is complete. All of the pieces are created using flood debris reclaimed from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. All of the work represents Texas State Symbols. 100% of the proceeds of this auction (minus shipping) will be donated to Houston area residents recovering from Hurricane Harvey. @kuttlefish is donating all of their fees as well. Visit the auction site. The link is in my bio. Please reshare this with your followers and friends! #texas #rubyred #ruby #red #grapefruit #reclaim #reuse #upcycle #salvage #harvey #houston #floodrelief #longhorn #mockingbird #armadillo #cowboyboot #longhorns #etching #painting #drawing #fundraiser #art #fineart #artworking #travel #texas #houston helpinghouston #texasstrong @kuttlefish

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Generations Church, pastored by Joseph Rios, was my Houston partner. Joseph will be coordinating the distribution of the drywall we will be purchasing. These young people were very passionate!

Our time will come again, they said to me. #payphone #nostalgia #newmexico

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Phoenix area artist and native Texan, Armando Heredia, returned Monday, September 18, 2017 from Houston, Texas. He traveled to the area to create artwork from flood debris in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. His journey started last Tuesday with a 16 hour drive to South Eastern Texas. The host site, Ashford Community Church, in Houston's "energy corridor", allowed him and several other volunteers from across the country a place to work and sleep. The other volunteers were there to help clear out homes in preparation for restoration. Heredia, however, was intent on combing through debris to find material for each of his seven creations. His art does not memorialize the weather event, instead all of the work, which is currently being auctioned online, represents Texas' state symbols. "The Hurricane and flooding happened to the great people of Houston, it does not define who they are," reasoned Heredia. "These symbols, the Longhorn, Mockingbird, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and others, have long been declared symbolic of the state, and for good reason." The art is being auctioned at Kuttlefish.com, a national online "upcycle" marketplace that hosts artist's creations made from reclaimed materials. 100% of the auction proceeds (minus shipping) will be donated to purchase drywall for residents whose homes were damaged by the hurricane and flooding. Kuttlefish.com is donating its fees as well. @Pastorjrios of Generations Church will be distributing the drywall. This is Heredia's second reclamation project. In 2016, he traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help after the historic flooding there. Acacia Church, was raising $20,000 to purchase drywall, and Armando was able to raise $4,000 through his reclaimed flood debris artwork. The auction will run through Sunday, September 24, 2017 and is at http://www.kuttlefish.com/art_forage. Contact info: Armando Heredia Armando@heredia.ws Ian Moise Kuttlefish.com Ian@kuttlefish.com Please share this with your contacts. The auction is at www.kuttlefish.com/art_forage or click on the profile link. #texas #houston #texasstrong #artworking #art #auction #fundraiser #harvey #drywall #fineart #painting @kuttlefish

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Legendary. In Texas lore, there is no icon as legendary as the Longhorn. Its horns could span seven and eight feet, with a temperament to match its size, it captures the Spirit of the western lands. This piece, "Bedding Down" is a simple representation of the longhorn and the big Texas night sky on a reclaimed fire pit, discarded due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. The street photo in this post is the actual reclamation area. Visit http://kuttlefish.com/art_forage to bid on this and other flood debris reclamation artwork by @armandohere. 100% of the auction proceeds will be donated to purchase drywall for Houston area residents. Please share by tagging someone who loves Texas and the mighty longhorn. #reclaim #reuse #repurpose #salvage #upcycle #houston #texas #harvey #artworking #reclamationart #floodrelief #longhorns #longhorn #cattle #texassky #firepit #stars #trail #cowboys #cattledrive @kuttlefish @pastorjrios Auction link in profile.

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Possibilities. As a reclamation artist, there is an innate optimism in my work. The challenge is to convey an idea, using the material in a way that allows it to speak for itself. A curve, a texture, the sheen on a piece of wood or metal, these are what can determine how a piece gets used. In Houston, in a pile of flood debris, a table was upturned, the curved pedestal feet almost shouted Longhorn. The two carvings represent the powerful state symbol. The drawers they are set in were found on Broken Arrow in Santa Fe, TX, a community south of the metro area. This two piece set is part of an auction to raise funds to purchase drywall for Houston residents whose homes were damaged by the flooding. The auction is currently online at http://www.kuttlefish.com/art_forage. The link is in the bio. Tag someone who loves reclaimed woodwork. #reclaim #reuse #repurpose #salvage #upcycle #houston #texas #harvey #artworking #reclamationart #floodrelief #carving #woodwork #texasstrong #longhorn #horn @kuttlefish

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This is what I've learned about helping people: 1. Sympathy can be a catalyst to help people, but you shouldn't help someone because you feel sorry for them. That can set you up to be manipulated. 2. Don't help others because you're a "good" person, or because it's the "right" thing to do. That can set you up for self righteousness or give you a superiority complex. 3. The reason you should help those in need is this, because you can. There will be times when you sympathize with the plight of a person in need, it would be good or right to help, but you don't have the capacity, whether financially, physically or mentally, you simply cannot help, so don't. There will be times, though, where it is within your power to act, so, do. If you can, then you should. #reclaim #reuse #repurpose #salvage #upcycle #houston #texas #harvey #artworking #reclamationart #floodrelief

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This was a great experience and gave us some exposure in the Phoenix Metro. The on-air story was longer than the piece they posted at ABC15.com and on YouTube, so I’m glad my friend Mark Segraves was able to record the article on his phone and post it to Facebook!

Well, the auction to raise money for drywall for Harvey recovery ends tomorrow. All of the starting bids have been lowered. Everyone of these pieces is made from reclaimed flood debris in Houston and its surrounding communities. I took some pics tonight to put them in context of how I would display them in my own home. The auction link is in my profile or at http://www.kuttlefish.com/art_forage. Your bid will help us purchase drywall for affected residents. #reclaim #reuse #repurpose #salvage #upcycle #houston #texas #harvey #artworking #reclamationart #floodrelief #rubyred #rubyredgrapefruit #longhorn #lonestar #cowboyboot #beddingdown #traildrive #rustic #fineart #mockingbird #armadillo #painting #drawing #etching #sculpture #found #maker #dowoodworking @kuttlefish

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I was really surprised and disappointed that none of the work sold on the online auction. I laid awake that night trying to figure out what we could have done differently. In all honesty, it was a bit disheartening, but as with any project, if it doesn’t work, figure out why and make changes. If you can’t figure out why one plan didn’t work, scrap that plan and make a new plan. So, that’s I decided to do. One of the things I am working on is getting the pieces in front of people physically. Also, being very specific about the goal of the project. I’ll be showing the works at the Phoenix First Friday on October 5, 2017.

When my friend saw “A Link to the Past” she said it should auction for “at least a grand”. I told her it didn’t auction, and it was available for the original minimum bid of $200. She bought it and saved $800! So, we need to sell at least one more piece to be able to get the bulk rate of $6.87 per sheet.

The "Little Armadillo" The Nine Banded Armadillo is the Texas State Small Mammal. It is a unique creature that lives in dangerous terrain, but has armor to protect itself. When threatened, the Armadillo rolls into a ball, armored plates protecting its vital organs. The "canvas" is a middle ply reclaimed from the lid of a small wooden chest. The marbling and colors of the background were created by the glue that held the plies together. It made the perfect background for our armored, hairy little friend. A bonus is an actual mud wasp nest, attached to the reclaimed 2 x 4 frame. 18.5" x 14.5" 100% of the proceeds of this auction (minus shipping) will be donated to Houston area residents recovering from Hurricane Harvey. We sold our first piece yesterday (Sept 29) for $200. The bulk price of drywall drops to $6.87 when we purchase 34 or more sheets. With the sale of this (or one of the other pieces in the collection) we can purchase 58 sheets, that's 1,856 square feet of house reclaiming material! Buy some reclamation art, help people reclaim their homes. Link is in the profile or visit www.kuttlefish.com/art_forage #reclaim #reuse #repurpose #salvage #upcycle #houston #texas #harvey #artworking #reclamationart #floodrelief #armadillo #drywall #sheetrock @kuttlefish @pastorjrios

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This is the current status as of Saturday, Sept. 30, we have six pieces still available for purchase. If we are able to sell all seven pieces from this collection, we will raise $1,400 ad be able to purchase 203 sheets of drywall. That’s nearly 6,500 square feet of drywall! So, if you are a Texan, a fan of Texas or know someone who loves western art, visit http://kuttlefish.com/art_forage and purchase some reclaimed art and help folks in Houston reclaim their homes.


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