Nicole Asselin (Winston Salem, NC)

Museum collection Scrap Wood, Museum collection Brick, Museum collection Army fatigue, thrift era blouse, and various scrap papers from the collection


“Raw Materials” translates Elsewhere’s artifacts into new materials for art making and mark making.

Mining select artifacts for their elemental and inherent properties, the work delves into the discarded crannies and unassuming parts of the Elsewhere Collection. Brick, scrap wood, rotting cotton fabric become the sites for material transformation. The brick is pulverized into a source for pigment, the wood is charred into drawing charcoal, and cotton rag is beat into into pulp for paper.

Throughout Elsewhere’s 58-year history its’ expression has evolved and shifted with the economy and needs of the community. From an army surplus, to a furniture reupholstery, and eventually a thrift store, “Raw Materials” mirrors that flow, translating elsewhere’s artifacts into new mark making and art making supplies for its current iteration as a living museum and arts residency. Crossing between survivalist practice, folk knowledge, and scientific phenomenon, “Raw Materials” celebrates the iterative microcosm of Elsewhere by making its’ artifacts new and new again. Future residents will be invited to “shop for” use and reuse these materials in the Department Store section of the Museum.

The series of prints and laser etchings in this collection celebrate the rich and varied surfaces in this 104-year old building. The prints activate the raw materials, documenting and abstracting some of the intangible or less noticed textual and patterned world of Elsewhere.