Recycling isn’t always a heavy industrial process of breaking down old object to reuse the material in them for new products. Sometimes, it can be a labor of art, as Kalamazoo native artist Adam Cefai proves. Adam has built a reputation for himself as an artist by creating geographical representations of the Great Lakes and their surrounding states in the medium of jointed pallet boards. His latest creation is an amazingly accurate cutout of the state of Michigan, surrounded by the lakes.
Adam’s pieces of artwork begin from a simple concept: that of using recycled material to produce something entirely new. All of his cutouts are made from boards harvested from pallets he finds in his area. Generally, he finds pallets that are being given away and that would wind up in landfills if not used. In this sense, Adam is reducing waste, one piece of art at a time.
His inspiration for this line of art was a post he came across online of someone else doing something very similar, but using new material instead of recycled. Realizing that the same thing could be achieved by culling specific boards from pallets, Adam went to work with his jigsaw and produced the first of many cutouts. Spurred on by support from social media groups he posted pictures to, he also began creating his Great Lakes cutouts to sell to interested parties across the country. He now treats his art as his own small business, selling his pieces for good prices to buyers who love both his craftsmanship and his environmentally conscious method.
The popularity of Adam and his artwork seems only to be increasing with time, and he has branched out to doing cutout pieces of other geographical features for customers who request them. His art teaches the fine lesson that recycling is more important, and sometimes more aesthetic, than one might think.