Tag: Reuse Depot

A Giant Sculpture, Made in Maywood, Fits Well in Grant Park

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews|| Photos: Alexa Rogals/Wednesday Journal

A 15-foot wooden sculpture that was built in Maywood last year by contemporary artist Tashi Norbu has now become part of the fabric of Chicago’s Grant Park.

The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was built from reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St. in Maywood.

Continue reading “A Giant Sculpture, Made in Maywood, Fits Well in Grant Park”

Bits & Pieces: Check Out This Cool Promo Video About ReUse Depot in Maywood

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Maywood videographer Mike Dawson recently created this neat promotional video about ReUse Depot, one of the largest reusable building material retailers in the Chicago metro area. The massive retailer is located at 50 W. Madison in Maywood — next door to Village Hall.

The store occupies the former site of the old Maywood Armory, where the 33rd Infantry Division of the Illinois National Guard was once based. After America entered WWII, the 33rd infantry division would be merged into Company “B” of the 192nd Tank Batallion, which would go on to face the infamous Bataan Death March.

Since moving into the village more than two years ago, ReUse has quickly become a staple institution, hosting renowned artists and a prominent local garden on its premises.

The roughly 13-minute video, which you can view above, is a nice synopsis of the retailer’s mission (and just how fortunate Maywood is to have landed the business). VFP

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A Sculpture Made in Maywood is Headed for Grant Park


Tashi Norbu in front of his wooden sculpture “Urban Buddha,” which sits on the grounds of ReUse Depot in Maywood. On Tuesday, it will be installed in Chicago’s Grant Park. | Michael Romain/VFP

norbu-paintingMonday, October 17, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 10/17/16

A giant sculpture made of reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St., in Maywood will be headed to Grant Park in downtown Chicago on Wednesday.

The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was created by Tibetan-born contemporary artist Tashi Norbu, who splits his time between the United States and the Netherlands.

Norbu said he created the work of art as a social statement on numerous global crises, such as deforestation and global warming.

“Deforestation from palm oil production is unbelievable nowadays,” Norbu said during an interview last Sunday. “The Chinese are doing the same thing everywhere in the world.”

“The message is for us to be the flower, not the bee,” Norbu said. “We have to be like the flower that grows beautifully by itself and you don’t have to look for something that the bee does.

“If you’re a good flower, the bee comes. If you’re a flower, you don’t have to go anywhere to look for happiness. You are yourself happy. You build yourself within.”

Norbu said that on Tuesday, the gigantic artwork will be transported to Grant Park by truck. It will require maintenance every six months, he said.

During his time in Maywood, the artist has left his mark on more than the physical landscape. He’s also left quite the impression on Gordon Hanson’s chess club, which meets weekly at the Maywood Public Library.

“He’s teaching us Buddhist chess,” Hanson said. “The purpose of the game of chess is to put the king in checkmate. The young kids want to kill all the other pieces — the pawns, knights, rooks, the bishop and the queen.

“Not that you shouldn’t do that, but [Norbu] says you should go the more peaceful path of checkmate and if it means taking the queen or pawn, fine, but it shouldn’t be about the American mental attitude of killing all the pieces.” VFP

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Maywood’s ReUse Depot Becoming a Boon for Local Artists

ReUse Depot .jpgTuesday, August 16, 2016 || Originally Published: Forest Park Review || By John Rice || Left: Artists work on a wooden Bhuda at ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St.

Tashi Norbu started his career as an internationally-acclaimed artist in a typically humble way. He was 4 or 5 years old, too poor for paper and pen, drawing a picture of the “Tortoise and the Hare” in the dirt of his Himalayan country of Bhutan. His grandfather was watching and thought Norbu had the skill to become a Thangka painter. Norbu not only mastered this traditional Tibetan art form, he studied Western Art in Belgium and Modern Art in Amsterdam. 

His latest project took him from his home in the Netherlands to Maywood. During the weeks leading up to July 4th, Norbu was busy working on a large-scale Buddha at ReUse Depot. The sculpture was commissioned by the Chicago Park District for the skateboard park at Roosevelt & Michigan in Grant Park.

The Buddha combines all of Norbu’s influences. Using wooden boards, Norbu incorporated the modern western form of Cubism. The Buddha itself is an eastern icon, with Norbu painting Buddhist mantras about compassion on the boards. Finally, the sculpture embraces the modern sport of skateboarding. It has a passageway at its base that allows extreme sports fanatics to skateboard through the sculpture. By constructing the Buddha from recycled materials, the sculpture, “Carries a huge message regarding the deforestation of Tibet by the Chinese,” the sculptor said.

Norbu could not have found a better place to create his 15-foot sculpture than ReUse Depot. Owner Kyle Fitzgerald generously donated the thousands of dollars of wood and paint that were needed. He also provided all the tools. Fitzgerald even joined in the work, happy to fire up his chain saw. Other community members joined in to paint the Buddha. But Norbu’s steady partners were Brooks Warman and Matt Doljanin. They provided hands-on help because Norbu’s time is very limited.

Warman and Doljanin met at North Park College, as sophomores studying business economics. College was great but both were itching to apply their knowledge in the real world. Doljanin’s father, Patrick, manages top boxers from around the world. “I always wanted to manage someone with talent,” Doljanin said. “I wanted to work with artists.” The two friends left North Park to start North Branch Management. Norbu is one of their top talents, commanding high-end prices for his pieces.

Warman was scouting in Maywood, looking for a historic building to house their gallery, when he stumbled on ReUse Depot. Director of Operations Katie Widmar, greenlighted the project and allowed them to build Buddha in their parking lot. Norbu already had a vision for the sculpture and they had Hal Link, who runs a woodworking shop, design the piece. They submitted the drawings to the Chicago Park District and got the OK to build the Buddha. They started work in mid-June and added boards to the sculpture every day. They worked feverishly because Norbu was scheduled to go to San Diego to create a piece called “Stairs to Heaven.”

It was heavenly for Warman and Doljanin to work alongside their star artist. ReUse Depot was also a godsend. “It’s the perfect partner, because it’s saving trees through recycling,” Warman said. “We miss having AC and a computer but we get to work hands-on with Taji.” The project was even more of a treat for Doljanin because Norbu stayed at his place for several weeks. “I learned a lot about Tibetan culture and selflessness,” he said, “I learned life lessons about how our actions affect others.”

“Compassion is the key trait of Tibetan Buddhism,” Norbu said, “My art comes from compassion.” He used Fitzgerald as an example of this spirit. “Kyle’s a great guy. He’s not greedy. He’s not a miser. He wants everyone to work together to save the Earth. I’m happy to be part of this movement.” VFP

D O N ‘ T  M I S S 

The Maywood Old Timers Picnic || 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. || Maywood

Old Timers

Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, the Maywood Old Timers Picnic has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.


Safe Summer Music in the Park || 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. || Maywood

Attendees at the annual Old Timers picnic will get to indulge in free live music starting at 5 p.m. Performers will be setup on the village’s historic gazebo. The smooth sounds are sponsored by the village’s Safe Summer Initiative.

Businessman Kyle FitzGerald Elected Director of Maywood Bataan Day Organization Ahead of Annual Memorial Service

Kyle Fitzgerald

Kyle FitzGerald (pictured outside of ReUse Depot at an event last year with black jacket, second from left in back row), was recently elected the Maywood Bataan Day Organization’s director-at-large. The MBDO’s annual Bataan Day Memorial Service will be held Sun. September 13, 2015. File photo. 

Monday, August 31, 2015 || By Michael Romain

Ahead of its 73rd annual Maywood Bataan Day Memorial Service, which takes place on Sun. September 13, the Maywood Bataan Day Organization (MBDO) recently elected Kyle FitzGerald as its newest director-at-large. FitzGerald owns and directs the ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., which recently relocated to the village from nearby Bellwood.

ReUse occupies the former site of the old Maywood Armory, where the 33rd Infantry Division of the Illinois National Guard was once based. After America entered WWII, the 33rd infantry division would be merged into Company “B” of the 192nd Tank Batallion, which would go on to face the infamous Bataan Death March.

“Kyle plans to continue redeveloping the property to better serve the reuse community and serve as a destination for craftsmen, woodworkers, do-it-yourselfers, and artists. The goal is to restore the 33rd tank company facade to honor the history of the building and those who trained at this prestigious facility before serving for our country,” according to an MBDO statement.

Bataan Day Invite

Weekend (8/15/15) and Upcoming Events in Maywood and Beyond; Free Cancer Screenings at Loyola

Thursday, August 13, 2015 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR 

— Saturday, August 15, 2015 —

8 AM to 8 PM || Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Avenue and Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), Maywood || 18th Annual Maywood Old Timers’ Picnic

Old Timers Picnic

—  —

9 AM || Connor-Heise Park Basketball Courts, 10th Avenue and Washington Blvd., Maywood || 10th Park Back-to-School Basketball Tournament 

10th Park bball

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10 AM || Central Ave. and Bloomingdale, Chicago (10 AM – Parade) || Columbus Park, Central Ave. and Jackson Blvd. (1 PM – Picnic) || Congressman Danny K. Davis’s 36th Annual Back-to-School Picnic and Parade 

AMX - Chicago - Coucilman and AMX

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12 PM to 3 PM || Reuse Depot, 50 W. Madison St., Maywood || Raise the Hoop Garden Festival 

Raise the hoop

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6:30 PM to 9 PM || Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood || Elliot Wimbush and Company will be performing some of Broadway’s best hits from the Great White Way. 

Elliot Wimbush singing

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— Sunday, August 16, 2015 —

2 PM to 4 PM || Winfield Scott Park, 17th Ave. and Maywood Dr., Maywood || Athletic Konnection and ComEd Back 2 School Supply Drive


— —

— Friday, August 21, 2015 —

6 PM || T&JJ’s Banquet Hall, 718 S. 5th Ave., Maywood || Rebirth of Jazz in Maywood, Featuring Charles Heath 

Maywood Jazz

— —

6 PM || 4th Avenue and Oak St., Maywood || Music in the Park, Hip Hop and R&B Night 

Safe Summer Music in Park

— —

— Saturday, August 22, 2015 —

10 AM to 3 PM || Miracle Revival Cathedral, 2010 St. Charles Rd., Maywood || Annual Community Health Fair and Back-to-School Giveaway 

Miracle Revival Fair

— — 

— Saturday, August 29, 2015 — 

By Appointment || Loyola University Medical Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, 2360 S. 1st Ave., Maywood || FREE Cancer Screenings and Community Health Education

Free cancer screeningsIf you have a free community event to add to this posting, please email detailed information to thevillagefreepress@gmail.com. 

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Proviso Students Bring ‘Farm-to-Table’ to Maywood with Organic Garden


Volunteers work in the organic garden next to ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., on Sat. July 18. Photos by Angelique White. 

IMG_2727Wednesday, July 22, 2015 || By Michael Romain 

MAYWOOD || Straddling the side of reusable building material store ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., is an organic garden that takes a village to harvest.

On Sat. July 18, the garden hosted area residents, volunteers and sponsor organizations to an afternoon lunch and workout in the garden, which sits right across the street from Proviso East’s football stadium.

Volunteer Jack Perez took a breather after shoveling dirt and assisting with the garden’s second harvest.

“This really helps show people where your food comes from,” he said of the garden. “It shows how to grow food and take care of your health. I think gardens are very empowering,” said Perez, a research assistant at Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC).

Zainab Raji, a senior medical student at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, volunteered to give healthy cooking demonstrations.

“We wanted to show them things that were cost-effective and that could be replicable at home. For instance, we got the fruits and vegetables and made kabobs with them. We also had the kids color lunch bags. We went over what’s a vegetable and a fruit, because some of these kids didn’t know what celery is. These are all ways of showing them how to do things in their own communities and how to grow things,” she said.

The garden is the result of a collaboration between ReUse Depot, who owns the property on which it sits; Loyola University; Proviso Partners for Health (PPH); and Triton, among other partnering entities.

Dr. Lena Hatchett, an assistant professor at Stritch, director of Community and University Partnerships, and one of the founders of PPH, said there were 12 students recruited through the Summer Urban Agricultural Program to help maintain the garden and harvest the organic crops. The program is funded by Triton College and Loyola.

The students, most of whom attend Proviso Township high schools, are paid to work the garden for six weeks. During that time, they also learn about entrepreneurship and gain a social awareness.

Jennifer Bridgman, a senior urban gardening specialist, oversees the students’ field training, introducing them to species of flower and vegetables they may not have known before entering the program. Bridgman said the gardening initiative has yielded more than fresh produce — it’s yielded brilliant ideas.

“One of the students has already written his own grant for a program,” she said. “He got $1,000 to start Hoops for Peace, so kids can come to a safe place to play together. We have twin girls who are in the process of starting their own organization. These kids are amazingly creative.”

“We recruited some stellar, strong, invested students,” Hatch said, echoing Bridgman.

The 12 participants were selected from an applicant pool of 21 students. Some will be retained in the fall to help out in the garden’s hoop house, which will enable produce to be grown in the cooler months.

Loretta Brown, a member of Maywood’s Environmental Beautification Commission and one of the garden’s community mainstays, pointed out some of the produce that had been harvested on Saturday.

“We harvested a bunch today — collard greens, string beans, peppers, cilantro, mint,” said Brown, who maintains community gardens throughout the village.

Bridgman said the students will decide how the produce is used. Some of it, the women hinted, might go to people like Mercedas Hernandez, who manages a cooking group out of St. Eulalia’s Quinn Community Center. Hernandez, who prepared the lunch that afternoon, said her organization is dedicated to cooking healthy food for people who love to eat healthily.

The garden, the good eating, the heightened community awareness — they’re all parts of a virtuous cycle of empowerment, Brown said.

“The high school is right across the street from the business owner who donated the land, so it connects the business with the high school. Some of the teachers from the school are engaged with this, as are the kids. Some community businesses have agreed to purchase from us once we harvest more produce. It’s a farm-to-table concept right here in our own village.”

And for the students responsible for maintaining that concept, the impact of the garden on their lives has been immediate and visceral.

Ronnika Croff, a freshman at Chicago Bulls College Prep on Chicago’s West Side, said her appetite has changed.

“I’ll eat more fruits and vegetables, because sometimes they have us taste things in the garden to see how we like them,” she said. “It also helps us get to know each other.”

“We’re doing things to better the earth with planting,” said Ciana Talmadge, 15, a sophomore at Proviso East. “We’re trying to give back to the community, which gives us so much. It’s nice.” VFP

Maywood Garden IX Maywood Garden X Maywood Garden XI Maywood Garden XII Maywood Garden XIII Maywood Garden XIV Maywood Garden XV Maywood Garden XVI  IMG_2734 IMG_2737 IMG_2745 IMG_2747 IMG_2755 IMG_2765  IMG_2775 IMG_2795