Trash Art

Art is subjective.

Trash is often the first word that comes to mind for kids and adults who see our campus material for the first time. After all, we’ve spend four decades since I was a kid reminding people to “throw it away” rather than litter when they are out in public.
Recycling is an all together newer concept with only about 20 years under the mainstream belt when we’re out anywhere.
What we collect, organize and reuse are what we see as raw art materials. They require only a splash of imagination, a dash of curiosity and a pinch of creativity to become any new thing that can be dreamed up.
Recently a woman I met shared an experience she had had in her college day after learning about what we do with recyclables. She said she had come out of a building and there before her was a giant pile of wood scraps. They had been put there for a “Craft In” and there, with the pile of wood before her was a mountain of possibilities. Seeing the pile of wood pieces was an open door to create she thought. That’s what we think a stack of cardboard or bulletin board trim or plastic marker lids does for students. They may not be able to articulate a sense that stirs in them but know that something interesting is possible.
We’re ok with the term “Trash Art”, the heart of it is in the right place and that’s what matters. Stay tuned for more on Forky in our next post, a Trash Toy that we think is really cool!

Reaping cardboard material

We collected a few boxes from Brookside Elementray’s hot lunch program. We partner with them for campus reuse and art at lunch so we cut up the boxes and returned 57 pieces of usable cardboard material to create with! Yay!

Back in the swing.

We’re excited to be back in the swing of reuse as we get our partnering campuses set up to put recycling into action. Reusing campus materials for artistic outlets fosters  creative exploration.
It is so exciting to see what kids create with just a few basic items like cardboard, paper and some tape.  We know that exercising their creative muscles helps kids develop their thoughts and ideas through trouble shooting, problem solving and critical thinking. 
We found a piece that says just what we know about the importance of creative opportunities in art.  The Head of Art at Walden School in the UK, Serena O’Connor , brings this core value home in her article. “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home”. We’re on the right track to connecting kids to their big ideas with the simple materials already around them on campuses, prime for imagining and creating. Stay tuned. There is more to come.