Trash really can be a Treasure

As many of you know, I’m from Texas. About the only good thing to do in Texas is to go to San Antonio, which is a 7 hour drive from where I live. That was one of the very reasons I decided to come to Mason. It’s right beside D.C. and there is so much to do! With work and school, it is hard to go on a mini vacation and map a day out in D.C., but it always ends up being worth it. A few weeks ago I went to visit the National Gallery of Art for my Art Philosophy class. I eventually slipped away from the group and went to visit the Hirshorn Modern Museum of Art. There, I discovered one of my coveted items of my youth was on display. Remember the early 2000’s trend of having a bag entirely made of reflective circles? Well, I loved that fad. And apparently so did the artist Nick Cave. My childhood purse was now a modern art sculpture! That opened my eyes to the idea of recycling in art. Now, this is by no means a new concept. To me, it just seemed like an abstract one. I was under the impression that you can only really use things like soda cans for art. The idea that only certain items can be reused is incorrect, especially in terms of modern art. I also think that it is important to note that there is probably more effective means of reusing than turning it into art. However, I do think that as odd as it is, it can take some waste from the cycle.



  1. megvarde · March 28, 2016

    This is so cool that you saw your childhood purse as a modern sculpture. I find it amazing when people take recyclable materials and turn them into projects. I also think that it’s a great way to save the environment and cut down on the amount of supplies that would normally be needed. A personal favorite of mine is when various gum and candy wrappers are used to make baskets or holders for other objects. I also like when the soda cans are arranged to make a known character. I think that recyclable art is so much fun, but not many people are interested in it because of the amount of time that it takes to create the projects. Recyclable art is also a fun way to save money and the environment.


  2. rogerwleblanc · March 28, 2016

    Kelsey – thanks for talking about your experience here. There is a lot of different artistic potential for upcycling – it is very exciting. There is an eco-art class taught by Mark Cooley at Mason if you are ever interested. – Roger


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