Mission Statement

Raising awareness and educating the public through high fashion made from recyclable materials.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving from the Gallery to the Stage

I was sitting with my friend Karin, when the call from Anna Schneiderman, Director of Ragged Wing, came through the airwaves. Anna was looking for help creating costumes for the stage for her upcoming performance, Inana's Descent. When Karin told Anna that she had a "plastic expert" sitting next to her, she handed me the phone and we had a lively conversation about how I could make a dress for their main character, Erishkigal, played by Celia Palmtag. Within a few days, I received the design, via email, and got to work. In fact, I had been making dresses out of plastic, but none of my creations were made for long-wearing on a stage, with 4 performances per day! So, that was the challenge of a lifetime for me, and I had to make the dress 3 times. Finally, I woke up one morning, and while thinking about how a woman would have to be able to move and BREATHE in plastic, I found the perfect solution. I used an old cotton sheet I found in the FREE BOX on my friend's dock in Sausalito to make the lining for the garment, then stapled the red and white bags to the garment. A simple gathering in the waist with elastic made the dress "one-size-fits-all", however, I had to fit the top to Cecelia's slender form. Working with a live model was a thrilling experience for me! I look forward to future opportunities to work with people on the stage and the runway!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PatchNews in Mill Valley Writes About Whole Foods Market Creative Reuse "Nickels For Non-Profit Award" Won by Elise Cheval For O'Hanlon Center For the Arts

Just in! Megan Wilkinson, Director of the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, just called to give me the heads up that PatchNews in Mill Valley published the story about my Nickels For Non-Profit Award through the Whole Foods Market Creative Reuse Contest. Read all about it.

O'Hanlon Receives Check For NFNP Award

The check is in the bank! O'Hanlon received $521.32 from Whole Foods Market's "Nickels For Non-Profits" Award, from my Creative Reuse Contest-winning crafted jacket, skirt and handbag excess-ory!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot Off My Press in Alphabet Soup Show at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts

My plastic dress, made out of sewn and heat-fused New York Times bags, will be on display at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, September 6-29. I hope you can stop into the Main Gallery, 10 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday, and check out the work by myself and two other NCWCA artists.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bay Area Women's Artists Show at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts

My sewn and fused plastic dress, "Slick", made out of recycled Hefty trash bags was accepted into the Bay Area Women's Artists Show at O'Hanlon by my favorite juror, Donna Seagar, Owner of the Donna Seagar Gallery in San Rafael. At the Artists Roundtable Discussion, I had an opportunity to talk to Donna about my body of work, made out of plastic. She mentioned that my dresses reflect excellent craftsmanship, which measures high in Donna's realm, and demonstrates the direction of my work with discovery of combining my sewing and heat fusion techniques. Donna especially enjoyed the "seamless" technique I achieve with my iron.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Puttin' On The Glitz

Art Made from CD's
 "Seeing The World Through New Eyes"
This piece has been in the making for a little more than 2 years.  When I was in the throes of depression caused by a sense of helplessness after reading in the paper too many times that Antartica was melting and Australia was burning from Global Warming, I decided to distract myself with a trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium on Easter in 2009.  Surrounded by children, I peered through the glass and witnessed for the first time, a creature known as a "Sea Dragon".  Eventhough I had always dreamt of being a marine biologist, somehow, in my 50 years, I missed this amazing animal, with kelp-like appendages growing out of its body!  The perfect camoflage for an animal native to Western Australia.  With my point and shoot camera,  I took photos through the glass.  On my way home, I announced to my husband that I was not depressed anymore and that I was going to crochet a Sea Dragon out of audiocassette tape.  Well, it's been a little more than 2 years, and my "Sea Dragon" is almost finished!  In the meantime, I have expanded my repertoire to include other music media including CD's that I collected from the College of Marin, when the Music Department was Spring Cleaning, in 2005.  As materials go, I covet them and it's not easy for me to use such a precious commodity that now goes for $1.99 at the Goodwill.  However, when the Call For Entry for the show, "Puttin' On The Glitz", came across my email from the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, for the "Puttin' On The Glitz" show, juried by Emily DeVorin, I knew it was time to haul 300+ of them out of the closet, now buried deep by the other materials I have been collecting since I declared myself to be a fiber artist.  
In keeping with my "Upcycle Runway" theme, I wanted to make a wearable piece with the CD's.  However, I hit a roadblock with creating the contours of the body with the rigidity of the CD's, and rather than revert to heating them, I stretched my creative forces and settled for a flat piece.  Having seen kimonos and flat patterns displayed at the Pulp Fashion Show at the Legion of Honor on June 12, I decided to use the icon to express my concern for the oceans and the need to recycle non-biodegradable wastes.  Using vinyl as a base,  I attached the CD's by tacking with thread and adhered photos embellished with Golden's Gel Bead Gloss Medium and gold leafing, using my favorite Golden's Heavy Gel Medium.  Upon seeing the embellished Sea Dragons transform into the planet Earth, I discovered the title "Seeing The World Through New Eyes" and considered how far I had come in 2 years since my trip to Monterey.  Finally, hanging the piece was also a challenge for this piece.  With a background in quilting, I used an age-old technique of creating a "sleeve" by folding over the top of the piece, reinforcing it with the cableties that the juror Emily DeVorin uses as her "signature" material and passed a solid plexiglass rod, purchased at Tap Plastic,  through the top.  Weighing just over 8 pounds, I hung the piece with 40# test monofilament line on both ends.
For the Show, I wore the perfect gllitzy frock and ear rings I wear when I perform on stage. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

New artwork on view through July 28

Hi Art Lover,

Please come to see my newest artwork - a Japanese kimono constructed with hundreds of CD's and photographs I took at Monterey Bay Aquarium when I was in the throes of depression over world conditions.    "Seeing the World Through New Eyes", is a testament to my total transformation.   On view at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts show, "Puttin' On The Glitz", 616 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, July 5 through July 28.

I hope to see you at the Opening, tomorrow, Tuesday, July 5, 6-8 pm.   Hear the artists talk about their work, which will be filmed and televised on Marin TV, from 4-5 pm.

Thank you,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opening for Re:Value Show at the Falkirk Cultural Center

We had a great showing of guests at the Re:Value show at the Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael last Friday night.

In the making of the artworks, 13 women and one man, met regularly over a year for critiques and lively conversation about values. They reflected on a series of questions including, "Who and what do we value?; "Who and what do we cast off?"; "What is disposable?"; and "What is worth preserving?"  The show presents a variety of more than 50 artworks with personal opinions about family, the environment and the social and political issues of the day expressed by a dynamic group of contemporary artists specializing in fiber arts. 
For gallery hours, go to http://www.falkirkculturalcenter.org/.

Guests were welcomed with Julie Garner's expletives, "Sign of the Times", which she sculpted with New York Times and hazardous waste plastic bags.

"The Sign of the Times", by Julie Garner

 The New York Times plastic newspaper bags are a favorite recycle material of Plexus, and my piece, "Hot Off My Press", generated a smile from my friend Karin Mortensen.

"Hot Off My Press", by Elise Cheval

As the photographer at the Opening, I had the opportunity to capture some poignant moments of our guests with the artists.  This picture of a little boy playing with the toy soldiers in Susan Doyle's (front and center), "In the Name of God", makes one step back and consider our future.

"In the Name of God", by Susan Doyle
Jennifer Kim-Sohn's passion for oil painting, comes through in her portraits which depict the new social media platform, facebook.  Noting that children have as many as 250 friends on facebook, Jennifer questions the immediacy of how quickly users can like and unlike people.  She ponders how new social media have changed the concept of friendship by presenting her paintings with a small leather wallet which holds a few cherished photos of her loved ones. 

"217 Friends", by Jennifer Kim-Sohn

As the evening progressed, the light shining through the Bay windows at the historical Falkirk Cultural Center in San Rafael was perfect for some dramatic shots!  

Karen Balos' sculpted human forms, "Transparent Selves",  made out of clear packing tape speaks to our transparency with each other and tweaks the viewer to consider how we judge others by body-type, gender, size, etc...and asks, "How much can we see?"   Moreover, seeing her piece in front of the beautiful landscape of the Marin hills is worth a drive to the gallery to see the show, up through August 20.

"Transparent Selves", by Karen Balos
 I dressed for the occassion in a pop Art sort of way, with a bright shiny hot pink top that turned heads.  Standing next to "Elvis", one wonders who gets more attention?  The King standing in the light or me in the shadows?

"White Trash", by Elise Cheval
Seeing my piece, "In the Beginning", made with hundreds of cassette tapes collected from family, friends and neighbors over a 2 year period, in the context of the people who contributed to the Project, was a real treat!

"In the Beginning", by Elise Cheval

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call at Marin County Fair

Hi All,

My Whole Foods Market winning suit made out of vinyl banners will be on view in the Fine Arts/Crafts Competition and Show at the Marin County Fair on July 4.

I hope to catch you there.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

White Trash at Marin Arts Council

White Trash

Some Like It Hot

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

The Opening at Marin Arts Council was a lot of fun. I saw Elvis holding his own as I came through the front door. My dresses, Some Like It Hot", and "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" are really bright in their Pop Art sort of way. Folks wondered where I got hot pink and red bubblewrap. I found it in somebody's garage in San Francisco 2 years ago. When I found it, I saw an octopus in my mind's eye. The dresses emerged because I like to wear my art on my sleeve!

The Show runs through July 15. I hope you can come.


Elise and Elvis

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whole Foods Market Creative ReUse Contest on June 7

Elise wearing "Wake-Up Call", sewn vinyl banners

O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, Megan Wilkinson and me had a lot of fun last night at Throckmorton Theater, where I was given a plaque, a $50 gift certificate and a pledge by Whole Foods Market of at least $800 for the Nickels For Non-Profits Award.  Daisy Carlson, Curator of her show, "From Here To Eternity", showcases the art of Judith Selby and her husband Richard, Tess Felix' beach trash portraits, and the art of winners of the Whole Foods Creative Re-Use Contest.  I was asked to wear the suit, "Wake-Up Call",  I made for the contest and was called a "walking piece of art".  My clothing made out of recycled materials is reaching larger audiences by the day.  I look forward to singing and performing, while wearing my clothing made out of plastic.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Tuesday Art Opening & Awards Ceremony

It was thrilling to receive the Judge's Special Prize Award for my winning classic suit, Wake Up Call, made out of discarded Whole Foods Market coffee banners, from Susan Grelock, during the First Tuesday Art Opening at 142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley!

Marine Trash speaks louder than words!

Dear Art Lover,


Check this out!


Elise Cheval

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Winner: Nickels for Nonprofits Award

Dear Art Lover,
My art career took off when I made a classic suit out of Whole Foods Market vinyl banners printed with images and words related to coffee, for my favorite non-profit, the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts.  I will be wearing the suit at the Awards Ceremony this Tuesday.  I hope to see you there.
Whole Foods Market Marin
Awards $1,500 in Grants to Local Nonprofits
Mill Valley, CA, June 9, 2011: Whole Foods Market will honor the winners of their recent Creative Reuse event on Tuesday, June 7 at 6pm at the 142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley.
Winners will be honored during the reception for the "From Here to Eternity" art show at 142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley on Tuesday, June 7. The reception is from 5-7pm and features some of the pieces submitted for the Creative Reuse contest as well as the work of Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang. (For more information, go to: http://www.eternallyplastic.com/ .)
The Creative Reuse contestin Marin was inspired by Whole Foods Market's core value to care for our local communities and environment.  Susan Grelock, marketing lead for the Marin stores said, "Whole Foods Market has a mission to recycle and reduce waste. Still, grocery stores make some waste that is difficult to recycle or reuse. We are looking for ways to reuse our regular waste items – and support local nonprofits at the same time."
Local artists were challenged to use the typical waste products from a grocery store to create art or practical items.  Participants took cardboard, vinyl banners, laminated signs, and posters and made everything from beach bags to bird houses. The entries were displayed at the Whole Foods Market in San Rafael on April 30 and judged by a panel of three judges .
Winners: The overall "Best in Show" was a hammock created by mother-daughter duo Ronnie and Amelia Sharpe. Their ingenious creation was woven from a vinyl banner and a laminated poster and utilized wood and rope salvaged from a Dumpster. The artists chose to have the $1000 grant they garnered given to the Mill Valley Children's Garden. Event attendees voted for the "People's Choice" award. There was a tie and both Jen Byrne (working for Mission Kids Co-op) and Ellen Litwiller (working for Sun Valley Elementary School) were awarded. Because of the quality of the work submitted, the judges honored additional entries; they will be recognized by being "Nickels for Nonprofits" recipients at Whole Foods Market stores. Through this program, shoppers can donate a nickel to the nonprofit every time they bring in their own bag. This program usually results in a $800-$1200 donation for a local nonprofit.
Susan Grelock
Marin Metro Marketing Team Leader, Whole Foods Market
415-497-9843, 415-889-3006, Susan.grelock@wholefoods.com

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Summer Classes at Marin Arts Council

Dear Art Lover,
Check out my summer classes at Marin Arts Council, where you can make a stylish bag or hat out of repurposed materials donated by Whole Foods Market.   Showcase your artwork in the Spring Student Exhibition at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts.

More Artwork on View in Marin

White Trash, thread painting on fused trash bags, 2011

White Trash, thread painting on fused trash bags, 2011

White Trash, detailed view, 2011
Dear Art Lover,
I've been as busy as a bee, designing and constructing garments out of plastic trash bags called "Haute Trash", with the intention to educate the public and raise awareness about the impact of plastic on our health and natural world.  My show schedule is quite full.    For an Invited Member Show at Marin Arts Council, I created  a sizzling wearable dress, made in the tradition of FLAMEnco with a lot of ruffles, out of red bubblewrap called "Some Like It Hot".  Carrying on the theme of Pop Art and Marilyn Monroe, I'll be wearing a dress, hat and shoes, made from HOT pink bubblewrap on Friday, June 10, at Opening Night. Hats made to support breast cancer research and purchased for Zero Breast Cancer, by the 14 member strong artist group, including me, called Plexus, http://www.plexusartgroup.com/, will show along with the Pop Art Show, from June 10 to July 15.  Plexus will also be showing over 50 pieces of art, including my latest pieces, "White Trash", "Hot Off My Press" and the famous cassette tape sculpture, "In The Beginning",  featured in Marin IJ, Plus Section on March 10,  in our new show,  Re:Value, at the Falkirk Cultural Center from June 17 to August 20.  Opening Night is June 17  from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.    The two dresses, "Slick" and "Aim High", seen on my new blog, http://hotoffthepressfromelisecheval.blogspot.com/, were well-recieved last Friday night at MOCA in Novato.  Check out the photo (including my Target dress) on their website http://www.marin/ MOCA.org used for promotion of their Current Exhibition.

White Trash, detailed view,  2011

I hope to catch up with you soon!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Some Like It Hot" in POP ART SHOW in MARIN through July 10!!!

Some Like It Hot, Sewn and Fused Bubblewrap, 2011

Come to the Marin Arts Gallery on Opening Night on June 10, from 6 to 8 pm, to see my latest SIZZLING fashionable trash art - a red bubblewrap dress made in the traditon of FLAMEnco with lots of ruffles!  You won't miss me.  I'll be wearing another Bubblelicious creation made out of sewn and fused HOT pink bubblewrap, complete with hat, bag and shoes! 

Plexus Art Group's hats, including mine that just returned from New York City, where they were featured in a breast cancer HBO documentary, will be on view through Zero Breast Cancer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

AIM HIGH and SLICK at Artfully Reclaimed Show at MOCA in Novato

I was delighted to see friends, other Plexus Members, and the President of NCWCA, Priscilla Otani and her husband Mike Yokum, at the Opening at MOCA in Novato last Saturday.   The Show, juried by Jack Fisher, showcases artworks that take the 4 R's (recycle, reuse, reframe and repurpose) to a whole new level of excellent and innovative arts and crafts.  Several artworks from Plexus Members, including  "Remnants of my life 2009" and "Remnants of My Life 2010 by Juline, "Bootsweiser" by Stuart and "Toxic Habits" by Jennifer, along with "Slick" and "Aim High" by me, are on view through July 10.   Juline's artwork was featured in the Marin IJ last Thursday.  I hope you can make it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fwd: Upcoming Exhibition - Artfully Reclaimed and Spectrum

Hi All,

My artwork has really taken off with my Hot Off The Press series of wearable art made out of recycled plastic bags.   I hope to see you at the Opening this Saturday, May 28,  5-7 pm.



Begin forwarded message:

From: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art <scott@marinmoca.org>
Date: May 25, 2011 3:55:35 PM PDT
To: elisecheval@gmail.com
Subject: Upcoming Exhibition - Artfully Reclaimed and Spectrum
Reply-To: scott@marinmoca.org


Opening Saturday May 28, 2011

Reception: 5 - 7 pm

Exhibition Dates: May 28 through July 10, 2011

 artfully reclaimed image

Artists from across the country transform the appearance of materials once meant for discard, creating art from recycled and repurposed materials 


Juror: Jack Fischer of the Jack Fischer Gallery


Running concurrently in the Hamilton Gallery


Spectrum: Color as Expression and Form

spectrum image

Artists Lar Landa and Joseph Slusky

employ color as an important expressive element, creating works that are both celebratory and seductive.


Co- curator: William Torphy 



 About  MARINMuseumofContemporaryArt

 Located at the Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field,

MarinMOCA is a vibrant arts organization providing the

community with an ongoing series of juried shows, regional

and national exhibitions, guest artist lectures, demonstrations,

workshops, classes, outings and critiques.


  Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field, 500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA 94949

 Open to the public  Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 4 pm

Come visit our Museum Store! 




and visit us on Facebook! 


Find us on Facebook 





This email was sent to elisecheval@gmail.com by scott@marinmoca.org |  
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art | 500 Palm Drive | Novato | CA | 94949

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Evite for Re:Value Show at Falkirk Show, June 17 through August 20.

Dear Art Lover,
Please find attached the Evite for the Plexus Art Group Re:Value show, featuring the art of 14 fantastic contemporary artists.  I hope my artwork, a 7 foot steel tower filled with audiocassette tapes, will take you on a nostalgic journey and my newest passion - wearable art made out of sewn and fused trash bags - will leave you in stitches! 
I look forward to seeing you at the Opening, June 17, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Annual Member's Exhibit at Marin Civic Center through July 15

Come to the Marin Civic Center and see the newest addition to my Re:FUSE collection.    

"Bubblelicious", 2011

Sewn and Fused Bubblewrap

This wearable party dress and hat is made out of pink Bubblewrap that I found on the way back from the vet in 2009 in San Francisco.  The structure of Bubblewrap, with air pockets, makes it great for protecting valuable goods during shipment.  But, this very same patented manufacturing process gives Bubblewrap a bad reputation in environmentally conscious folk's minds because it is NOT recyclable.  When I make a wearable piece from a material that is not recyclable, I achieve my goal to use fashion as a spokes piece for public education about the nature of plastic.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Women Rule at "A Sense of Place" Show at the ARC Gallery in San Francisco!

The Opening for "A Sense of Place" at the ARC Gallery in San Francisco took place in a well lit space with entertainment and refreshments.  I was delighted to see my eggshelled vinyl and Velcro dress, "Breaking Through", holding her own in the center of the gallery, under a "devore" umbrella called "The Sky is Falling", by Judy Shintani.  The pairing is perfect and suggested to visitors that the two pieces are a diptych by the same artist!  From the picture, you can see that Judy and I are coming from a similar place in terms of our thoughts and feelings about vulnerability and fragility in a world visited by disasters. 

I met Gaia Toscano, the hard-working intern at NCWCA, who designed and produced the catalogue for the show, when she came into my printmaking class at College of Marin looking to grow their membership.  Gaia was so helpful and generous in offering me an opportunity to be a part of NCWCA's member show at the ARC Gallery that I couldn't resist stepping up to the challenge to meet deadlines for submission of my artwork.  

I had a lot of fun talking to the artists and learning about their artwork.  Having a strong interest in digital painting, I was naturally drawn to Susan Liroff's piece, "Down the Road".  Susan is a master with Adobe Photoshoppe.

Anne Shulemberg's photocollage, "Skyline Reflections - Morning" reads like a self portrait.  Anne is a gentle soul, who took the opportunity to reflect on her move from Oakland for the theme of the show.

My girl, "Breaking Through", has taken my art on a journey these past few years.  She was labeled "Best Mention" by the juror in the "Take 2 Show" at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts and noted in the Marin IJ in 2009 and was awarded a green "Best Mention" ribbon at the Marin County Fair in 2010.  Now, she is on view through May 21 at the ARC Gallery.  Moreover, the reception of my eggshelled vinyl and velcro wearable dress has encouraged me to create a full wedding dress for the upcoming MOCA show, "Shattered", to be juried by Kenneth Baker from the SF Chronicle.

Finally, my husband Georg's delight with Jain Hutzell's intricately beaded wearable art, "Inviolate",  is a testament to the joy and power women's art brings to us. 

Here is the best long view shot of the Gallery, as seen from the refreshments table, according to my husband who is more of a photographer than me.  Nevertheless, I will be posting more pictures of the show since I volunteered to photograph the artworks and the Closing panel discussion on May 21.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Elise in "Sew La-La"

I went to O'Hanlon Center For the Arts today and my friend Carolyn took my picture in my coffee suit!