Artist Alo Osberg returns to Precious Plastic Lab in Otter Tail County

Osberg is the artist who initially sparked the idea for the Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab, which is now at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center.

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Cedar Walters, Otter Tail County's waste and recycling public information and education officer, attaches a mold to a plastic injection molding machine in August 2021. The machine melts recycled plastics into a tile shape. The Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab in Fergus Falls also has molds for letters, the state of Minnesota and jewelry pieces.
(Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

Springboard for the Arts is bringing artist Alo Osberg back to Otter Tail County for a residency with the Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab from Feb. 21 to March 20.

Osberg was a Hinge Artist in early 2020, and initially sparked the idea for the Plastic Lab, which is now at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center.

Osberg is an interdisciplinary artist and fabricator who uses performance, participatory and conceptual art to facilitate question asking and wonder making. Blurring the lines of artisan craft and fine arts, Osberg explores the possibilities of a "folk futurism" that marries ancestral knowledge with modern synthetic materials and waste, according to an Otter Tail County news release.

Based out of Minneapolis, Osberg has worked with museums, theaters, schools and festivals nationally and internationally to produce interactive exhibits, sculptures, experimental puppetry and workshops.

"It's rewarding to see what was just an idea brought up by a resident artist a few years ago take shape and root itself into a creative community solution with a local community organization. It shows the importance of giving people the opportunity to brainstorm, gather, and try things on a small scale to see what's possible," said Michele Anderson, Springboard for the Arts rural program director.


Osberg will lead a series of workshops that will use recyclable aluminum casting to create molds for plastic injection for artists interested in creating their own tools and products with recycled plastic. There will also be an artist's talk, a ‘Plastic Discovery Day,’ and an installation of recycled plastic artworks around Otter Tail County.

The Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab is a unique plastic recycling makerspace located in the county Recycling Center that provides a space for hands-on recycling experiences and creative collaboration. For more information, visit the Otter Tail County website or the Plastic Lab Facebook page .

If you go

  • Artist Talk: Wednesday, March 16 from 3-4 p.m. (virtual)
  • Plastic Discovery Day: Sunday, March 20 from 1-4 p.m. (Otter Tail County Recycling Center)
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