Located at 3,775 m. the Denali Schmidt Art Gallery is one of the highest art galleries in the world
Waste to Art is the way for us to showcase that something beautiful is hidden inside the material we throw away. Through this visual representation, we wish to change the perception around waste.
By attracting artists and allowing them to experiment with these unusual materials, we wish to inspire locals and visitors to be more conscious of the environmental impact their actions might have.
We have partnered with the Denali Foundation from Houston, Texas which will be supporting our artist residency program. The Foundation will identify and send artists to Sagarmatha Next for residencies to experiment and create art with waste materials found in the Himalayas. These visiting artists will further conduct workshops for local school children and adults.
In 2011 a group of Nepali artists led by the art group DA MIND TREE, decided to convert waste into art. As part of the annual Saving Everest Clean-up campaign, waste was collected and brought down to Kathmandu, and part of that waste was given to these young artists.
After months of hard work, the waste was transformed into beautiful sculptures and exhibited in Kathmandu. Tommy Gustafsson, our co-founder and Project Director, was impressed by the work of these talented artists, and decided to take some of the sculptures to Europe where they were sold for several thousand dollars each. The concept of turning non valuable waste into valuable artwork seemed viable.
Years later while ideating the concept of Sagarmatha Next, our founders were thinking of innovative ways to sensitize the locals and visitors of the ever growing environmental challenges in the Khumbu region. And what better way to reach large audiences than through art and visually representing the solution. This is how Waste to Art started – a solution to repurpose the waste that is left behind in the Khumbu region.
Our Art Gallery will open in September 2021 with an exhibition showcasing sculptures from six emerging Nepali artists.
The WastArt Competition was held in collaboration with the Taragaon Museum in May 2019. The two winners, Saurav Koirala and Dipak Lama, will be the first artists to visit Sagarmatha Next and work at the Waste Lab and create installations for the gallery and surrounding sculpture park.