Stephanie Dillon is a Twin Cities–based, many-medium artist who drives reinvention as regeneration. By reviving discarded items, recycling art to bring new beauty to each piece and painting on mediums such as upcycled clothing and furniture using a variety of creative techniques, she interrogates and rejects the idea of disposability, a concept she grappled with when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. “It’s like a whole sustainability parachute fell open over my head during that time.”
She set about examining her participation in damaging systems, and worked to figure out how to move differently: “Our lives are finite, and we need to think about what we create, how we craft our lives.” Her art challenges consumptive ideas that permeate our society.
It’s going to take all of us to save the planet. Seventy-three percent of clothing that’s bought is sent to landfills, whereas 95 percent of it could be reused or recycled. Isn’t that staggering to you? Do you know how much we throw away?
Dillon speaks of second life, more life, opportunities to serve other people and the planet. At the beginning of 2020, she founded apparel company Citizen-T, which involves practically zero manufacturing by sourcing clothing and other items from landfills and features the work of a number of artists in various collaborations.