Zipper artist coming to Evergreen June 25 and 26

Janet Petrell makes upcycled art using old zippers.

Olivia Jewell Love
olove@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/5/22

Old, broken zippers get a new life starring in art pieces created by Janet Petrell, a unique artist who will be featured in the Evergreen Mountain Art Celebration on June 25 and 26. 

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Zipper artist coming to Evergreen June 25 and 26

Janet Petrell makes upcycled art using old zippers.

Posted

Old, broken zippers get a new life starring in art pieces created by Janet Petrell, a unique artist who will be featured in the Evergreen Mountain Art Celebration on June 25 and 26. 

Petrell is a Tennessee-based artist who creates her masterpieces out of upcycled materials, mainly zippers. She got the idea in highschool while thinking of a 4 H recycling project.

“I started this art form when I was 14,” she said. 

The zipper art quickly became a family affair, involving both of her parents. When her mother passed away in 2012 and Petrell was left with piles of zippers, she knew she needed to continue to create. That’s when she started her adventures as a solo artist, and began to have her art featured in shows in North America and Europe. 

“My mom still created until the week before she died...that inspired me to create as she did,” Petrell said. 

Petrell gets the inspiration for her art from the objects she finds to upcycle, and can’t plan a piece until she knows what materials she is working with. 

As an artist, Petrell does not purchase any zippers. People who enjoy her art donate old ones to her, bring them to her events, and neighbors even leave them on her doorstep. She also works with a developmental home that donates zippers, and she is able to return them to the home as a work of art. 

“When I ask the universe for zippers, it answers me,” Petrell laughed. 

Petrell enjoys creating unique art that can also break the traditional rules of gallery viewing. She invites people to touch her highly tactile creations. 

“Even stroking my art can be stress relief,” she said. 

Having her art displayed in a children’s hospital, Petrell was told its presence was healing and calming for those in the hospital. Comments like that are what stick with her as a creator. 

“‘Your art really lifted my spirits’...that was like the most impactful thing I ever heard about my art,” Petrell said. 

Creating one of her unique pieces is time consuming. A 3 inch by 3 inch canvas can take 8-10 hours, a large piece can take months. Even with the long hours, Petrell does not leave any pieces left unfinished. 

“I’m not one of those halfway people...I finish what I start,” she said. 

Petrell’s zipper art will be on display at the Evergreen Mountain Art Celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25 and 26 at the Evergreen North shopping complex. To check out her work in the meantime, visit her Instagram @zipperworks or her website www.zipperworks.com

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