Being green is something my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were doing long before it was trendy and associated with fancy green lingo like staycationing. Cutting up old clothes for rags and floor rugs, pulling hardware from rotting doors and floorboards, and making toys from tin and string, I was taught at an early age that everything around me could have multiple purposes. These tenets provided a solid foundation on which to build a career as a found object and mixed media artist, satisfying a deep-rooted appreciation for turning the discarded and ordinary into the extraordinary.
Dolan Geiman, 2008
Incorporating eco-friendly practices into our business has been a natural process since its inception. For Dolan, the idea of taking things and repurposing them was an ideological current passed down from generation to generation for a family living in a rural community. Years later, having moved to Chicago with a few bucks and a car-load of artwork and supplies, the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra was a similar economic reality for an emerging artist and burgeoning arts company.
Today, as our company grows and our business options expand, our goal is to deepen our commitment to green business practices. Beyond the recycled and repurposed materials that have been the cornerstone of Dolan's artwork since he first started creating, we are making more conscious choices to educate ourselves and our patrons and to reduce the environmental impact of our company, both in and out of the studio.
Ali Marie Geiman, 2008
MIXED MEDIA ON WOOD
Geiman's mixed media works on wood are created on discarded wood panels, otherwise in route to the landfill. A majority of the paint is waste stream household paint and/or low-VOC. Silk screened images are produced via water-based inks. Frames are hand-built using found wood, much of which is salvaged from fallen barns and outbuildings.
COLLAGES AND RESCUED WOOD CONSTRUCTIONS
The vintage papers, metal objects, and wood scraps used in the production of Geiman's collages and Rescued Wood Constructions have been stockpiled over the years from abandoned structures and alleyways from Chicago to Virginia, as well as from scrap piles found on the way to art fairs.
BOX PRINT REPRODUCTIONS ON WOOD
BOX PRINT® reproductions are manufactured in the USA by a professional printmaker using solvent-free and VOC-free inks. Images are printed onto formaldehyde-free hard board panels. Each BOX PRINT edition includes a poplar back-frame, considered by many to be an eco-friendly wood option because it is a fast-growing, underutilized, and readily replenished wood species.
Dolan Geiman is a proud tenant of the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center, the first sustainably-renovated industrial building in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. The building's green roof, featuring a unique photorealistic landscape design, was completed in May 2008. Photos, history, and more information about the building's mission are available at bubblydynamics.com.
Dolan Geiman offers a $5 discount on purchases when customers present a reusable shopping bag or a bike helmet at nationwide art fairs.
In an effort to off-set the carbon footprint created by traveling to art fairs, Dolan Geiman is a small business CarbonFree Partner via Carbonfund.org.
On average, 50% of the bubble wrap and cardboard used to package artwork for shipment is recycled from pre-used and discarded materials. Like the wood panels, these materials have been salvaged from warehouses and other packaging resources in the Chicagoland area. Dolan Geiman also recycles all packaging materials received from vendors. Materials not reused in the art making process are hand-delivered to the local recycling center.
PRINT MATERIALS/OFFICE SUPPLIES
Whenever possible, sustainably printed marketing materials and eco-friendly office supplies are purchased via green suppliers which demonstrate a commitment to sustainability in both their products and overall business practices. Local businesses are often selected to avoid the environmental impact of long-distance shipping. Dolan Geiman carefully considers all marketing materials and opts for paperless, e-mail and web-based initiatives whenever possible. All office paper is produced from 100% post-consumer content. All used toner cartridges and computer hardware are recycled locally.
Dolan Geiman donates a percentage of all sales to avian and wildlife organizations. With every opening order by a new retailer, Dolan Geiman plants 10 trees through The Arbor Day Foundation. Unwanted art supplies are donated to local organizations or via craigslist. Over the years, the company has also supported many local and national organizations via financial and/or artwork donations.