Student uses recycled material for art

Ruth Williams

“Free” is the word that senior art major Julia Kropinova used to describe her art at the reception for Recycled Art in the Witt Gallery of Kadema Hall on Wednesday, March 11.

Kropinova said her art describes who she is and when creating pieces, she does not like to feel trapped.

“I have so much creative activity, I don’t like to be bound, going in a straight line,” Kropinova said.

The reception included several pieces from Kropinova’s abstract, recycled collection.

She said her passion for art began when she was very young when her art teacher at the time glued cloth to a canvas and told her to paint a design around it.

“It was the best time I’ve ever spent in my life, I could just never stop,” she said.

Kropinova said taking Sacramento State art professor Bob Ortbal’s collage and assemblage course triggered her exploration and fondness of the 3D element instead of solely painting.

When asked why she chose to create art out of recycled materials, Kropinova did not hesitate to reply.

“Why buy a canvas when you can make a canvas?” said Kropinova.

The most popular attraction in the gallery was a piece made of two snowboards, titled, “Blue Hair, Don’t Care.” Kropinova said she got the inspiration for the piece when she saw the boards at a garage sale.

A lot of Kropinova’s pieces contained a “key” element. She said a friend of hers used to own a key shop, so she had a lot laying around. She chose to use keys in her art because they can represent being locked up, or being freed.

Other than keys, Kropinova has also included toothpicks, wiffle balls, yarn and even gold coins from a belly dancing skirt.

When people view her art, Kropinova says she wants them to draw their own conclusions because it doesn’t matter what she thinks.

“It’s not the subject, but the feeling that matters,” said Kropinova.

To art major, Mustafa Shaheen, Kropinova’s art is very motivative. He says there is so much going on that viewers need to take their time to appreciate each piece.

“Julia is able to tap into this force of creativity and go at it,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen also said Kropinova is fast and creative. He further described her recycled art as a little bit of everything, and that looking at it he gets a sense of freedom.

When referring to normal-structured academic art, senior art major Ansley Wille said Kropinova’s recycled art is very different from what she normally does. She described the art to have a collage feel to it.

“I know Julia, I love her show. It all kind of fits together nicely,” said Wille when describing Kropinova’s originality.

For more information or to view her pieces, contact Julia Kropinova at [email protected], or visit her website at