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Smile Welcome Mat, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD 2010. Used toothbrushes, resin. 3/4" x 8' x 4'.

This welcome mat was made for the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Over half of the used toothbruses came from visitors to AVAM. I did get several envelopes in the mail with one or two brushes in them and that was rather amusing.  I also got a box of what looked like a cache of old toothbrushes from an art car artist in Texas.  Many came in large packages from the museum, but the last push of 600 came from a company in Massachusetts called Preserve who actually make their toothbrushes out of recycled yogurt containers. Recently they have been accepting their brushes back to be recycled back into new toothbrushes. They were kind enough to let me divert a bunch for this cause.  However, their packing is a returnable mailer that can also be recycled and I had to open each one to get the brushes out so that I can return them to the company for further recycling.