SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When artist Lorna Miser sees bike tires and inner tubes, her eyes light up.

“I turn these into purses and art and usable things,” Miser said.

When the pandemic struck and material shops were shut or had limited hours, she got creative, and was turned onto the idea of using inner tires instead of leather.

Also, she discovered there was an abundance of them.

“It behaves a lot like leather. It’s very durable and I’ve done some research and realized there’re just thousands, hundreds-of-thousands of them going in the dump, in one city alone. You know, there’s just no way to recycle them,” she said.

Her sustainable and environmentally friendly attitude is part of the reason she’s a featured artist on, an online marketplace dedicated to help local sustainable Sacramento artists. Nonprofit Atrium 916 runs the site, which also has a physical store for artists creations. Its creative director Sammie Anne Mckibben, a long-time dance instructor, said everything in and on the store has been sustainably created. 

“Everything that we’re creating here is with the goal of disrupting that pattern of disposal. Because our earth has finite resources,” Mckibben said.

The online marketplace was set up as an incubator to help eco-artists reach a wider audience when the pandemic struck and give people a local option instead of sites like Amazon.

“We found this huge deficit as people were locked down, we were in our houses, had no way to continue to sell or promote our art. And so, The Atrium created,” Mckibben said.

The site features a host of products from fashion to mugs and even speakers.

“We’ve got a boomcase making these vintage recycled lunchboxes into speakers.”

Mckibben said they are always updating the site and shop with new artists and products.

Miser said she’s constantly looking for different unused materials to get creative with.

“Upholstery samples come in like binders and the stores just dispose of them a couple of times a year,” Miser said.

So Miser’s own waste and anyone else’s goes to good use.

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