Metal TapestriesMetal Tapestries by Wil Lala
June 22 – July 5, 2012
The community is invited to join artist Wil Lala in creating a new installation at The SoapBox Gallery, at 636 Dean Street, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. His current work transforms discarded aluminum cans into shimmering tapestries. The public may bring in their own empty aluminum beverage cans to be included in a new tapestry that will be in progress during the show.


I have been a sculptor my whole life. I remember at the age of 8 making 3 D sculptures of the animals on the Kansas farm where I was raised. I went on to become a dentist and viewed dentistry as another form of sculpture. I began working in precious metals in 1969. I also enjoy working in larger scale in alabaster, marble and bronze.

My current work stems from my strong belief in recycling. The shimmering tapestries I make are made up of aluminum beverage cans and are being created in both of my studios. One studio is in the United States and the other is on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize in Central America.

The collecting of cans to recycle is varied according to location. When working in Belize I often trade fish I have caught for aluminum cans that have been collected by local islanders.

The cans are washed and cut into small squares I refer to as pixels. These pixels are then wired together with recycled copper wire. I enjoy sorting the pixels by color that I store in recycled plastic containers. Hundreds and hundreds of these pixels are merged together to form flowing metal tapestries. They are so light that they move gently in the air currents created as people move about the spaces in which they are displayed.

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