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Kathi Hofer: Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village


On the outskirts of Simi Valley, California, stands a cluster of 16 buildings designed and built by American artist Tressa Prisbrey (1896–1988). Between 1956 and 1972, Prisbrey laboriously mined a local landfill for glass bottles and shards of pottery to use in her construction of the collection of buildings now known as Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village. Prisbrey repurposed the discarded items as building material for sculptures, walkways, shrines and buildings initially intended to house her collection of around 17,000 pencils. The project is now a dazzling art environment composed of concrete and castoffs, dolls and debris.

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