Virginia artist, educator turns ‘trash into treasure’ in new MSU exhibition

Susie Ganch, “Drag, 2012,” Giclée, 34 x 52 inches. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Susie Ganch)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Coffee lids, plastic utensils and other repurposed materials make for one-of-a-kind creations in a special display Oct. 9-Nov. 11 in Mississippi State University’s Visual Arts Center Gallery.

Free to all, the “How Soon is Now?” exhibition features original sculpture and photographic prints crafted by Richmond, Virginia-based artist Susie Ganch, who serves as associate professor and head of the metal program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Craft and Material Studies.

Ganch will give an 11 a.m. public talk about her work Thursday [Nov. 9] in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium at Giles Hall, home to MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design. She also will be available at 4 p.m. that day to meet with visitors at the VAC Gallery, located at 808 University Drive on the edge of the Starkville campus. A public reception in Ganch’s honor also will take place at 5-6 p.m. Thursday in the same location.

Regular gallery hours are 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday, as well as by appointment.

A Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ganch is director of Radical Jewelry Makeover, an international jewelry mining and recycling project that travels across the country and abroad. In addition to California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin, Ganch’s work has been on display in Australia, England and Japan.

Visitors of the VAC Gallery exhibition can examine Ganch’s pieces from a distance and then explore the details of each piece up-close.

“From a distance, the ‘waste’ is beautiful—plastic coffee lids appear almost hand-braided, rhythmic and full of movement—yet up-close we notice the coffee stains, dirt and grime indicative of the life of used, discarded garbage,” said Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department gallery director.

Ganch’s piece “Drag, 2012” is made from zip ties, nametags, bottle caps, cups and other items tied together to multiple steel rings. Arranged from large to small, the rings lead up to a final ring that can been chained to the wall.

When attached to a person’s wrist like a bracelet, this particular work of art by Ganch “conveys the pull and weight of irresponsible consumerism on an individual and the trail of waste that is left behind or leading the wearer,” Neuenfeldt said.

In addition to the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art, the exhibition is made possible through a Community Arts Grant from the Starkville Area Arts Council.

Additional information on Ganch’s campus visit and “How Soon is Now?” exhibition is available from Neuenfeldt at 662-325-2970 or

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 3:37 pm