All the News that Fit to Reuse

Written by: Emma Holland, Intern from University of Texas

Adrian Membrez is a creative writer, collagist and event planner. He holds an English B.A. from UTSA and an English M.A. in Creative Writing, Literature and Social Justice from Our Lady of the Lake University. He is passionate about sharing his love of the collage medium and the ATC movement with others. When he is not writing or collaging, he enjoys camping, traveling and visiting art galleries with his wife Abi. I spoke with him briefly about his life, specialization in collaging, and the upcoming event he and Spare Parts are putting together on May 14, 2022.

Adrian is a trained writer, in academia, collage artist, yet he had no formal educational background in the arts other than art appreciation classes and engagement with museums from his parents. Yet, once the pandemic hit, he had hit writer’s block. This is when he decided to try a new and different medium. He took a collaging class over the course of the pandemic and never looked back. He started making collages, and implemented art journaling; this is one thing that helped him get through the pandemic by keeping him sane, occupying the time, and serving as a creative outlet.

As with all artmaking, there is a favorite part in the artmaking process. For Adrian it is a variety of things. He stated that “the creative destruction of cutting things out and putting them together is always satisfying as well as when he is signing a piece and knowing it is finished.” There is instant satisfaction from the process of collaging and having the finished product. He believes that collaging is a growing art form.

Adrian and Abi

Collaging in itself is a sustainable art form, however, in terms of Adrian’s own personal sustainability as an artist, he always makes sure to recycle all the paper he doesn’t use. The adhesives he uses are almost always bought at Spare Parts or second hand. Adrian makes it apparent to not buy new as a way of being as sustainable as possible.

When asked, how would you describe Spare Parts to someone who hasn’t been to the shop yet? Adrian thinks of a common reference he can make; most notably thrift stores like Goodwill. His best description for Spare Parts is a thrift store with art supplies where people make donations, the prices are reduced, and items are organized. He believes that Spare Parts is an amazing place to visit to try new mediums, find a community, be sustainable and not have to go to Michael’s or  Hobby Lobby for new supplies. “It’s not only a store to spur creativity but to learn different mediums while having an eco aspect to it; an awesome place to bring people together as a community.”

As Adrian moves forward in his endeavors, he and Spare Parts will be hosting an event for World College Day, featuring an Artist Trading Card Swap (ATC) and art-making celebration  on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 3:30-5:30pm.  Artist trading card swaps are where artists create a trading card or “micro-art” similar to a sports card and hold a trading swap event where you can set up your cards, showcase, and exchange everyone’s art (if you want). Adrian believes it is a great way to collect mini pieces of original artwork. It is an organic way of networking. Bring your own supplies or buy them cheap at Spare Parts to make these miniature works of art for trade. There is no entry fee and the event is for all ages and mediums. We’ll have tables for you to work on and the store will remain open for you to shop.


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