Artist Turns Discards Into Objects for Display

An old chair, a piece of wood or pebbles from the beach might not seem like typical artist's materials, but Bob Ebendorf is using them in a new and innovative way.

Ebendorf made the move to Santa Monica nearly three years ago when his wife came west to take a job. As a professor of art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, he had enjoyed a distinguished artistic and teaching career. During his 20-year tenure, he focused his efforts on jewelry and metal-making. Today, some of his contributions to the field have become standards for craft.

A virtual stranger to Southern California, he found the transition difficult at first.

"I began to spend a lot of time with my daughter walking the beaches, streets and alleys of Santa Monica," he said. "I became keen on (picking up) things being thrown away and brought them home."

Once materials such as glass, wood and paper arrived in his workshop, Ebendorf went to work on ways to re-use them creatively. Relying on craftsmanship and ingenuity, he created art objects and pieces that reflected a new trend: using recyclable materials in art.

One of most his interesting pieces is a small chair made from wood, paper, beach stones and plexiglass. It was displayed recently at a local gallery and has since been purchased for a private collection in Philadelphia.

Taking a break from furniture, Ebendorf has also found a renewed passion for making jewelry. He made a brooch that has parts of an old tin can, hand-carved alabaster, 14-karat gold and sterling silver to complete its sphere-shaped design. It can be seen at the Oakland Museum.

The Medallions, a group that raises funds for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Department of Laser Research & Technology Development, presented Billy Veprin with the "Heart of Gold" award.

Veprin, a resident of Beverly Hills, was recognized for his charitable contributions to the community at the group's annual ball on Oct. 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

John Nickoll will serve as campaign chairman for the western region of the United Way.

Nickoll, president of the Foothill Group, Inc. in West Los Angeles, will recruit volunteers for the campaign cabinet and organize community fund raising in the Westside and South Bay areas. He is also on the board of directors for American Shared Hospital Services and CIM High Yield Securities in Los Angeles.

The National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression honored Dr. Daniel Freedman at a dinner-dance on Oct. 6 at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

Freedman, Judson Braun Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at UCLA, has been a pioneering researcher in biological psychiatry. He is also chief editor of the American Medical Assn. Archives of General Psychiatry.

The Senior Health and Peer Counseling Center in Santa Monica was honored at the National Tribute to Daily Points of Light Celebration last month at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla.

The center, named the 31st Point of Light by President George Bush, was chosen for its use of volunteers in programs that attempt to address mental and physical health needs of aging citizens.

Items can be mailed to People, The Times, Suite 200, 1717 4th St., Santa Monica 90401.

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