Learning to live fantastic without plastics

• September beaches yield treasure trove of recycled art for October

By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

HOMER TRIBUNE/Sean Pearson - Max Basargin’s “Cork Boats” is one of several art pieces on display at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in October. Students from McNeil Canyon Elementary School gathered trash and other objects from the beach as part of CoastWalk 2009.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Sean Pearson - Max Basargin’s “Cork Boats” is one of several art pieces on display at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in October. Students from McNeil Canyon Elementary School gathered trash and other objects from the beach as part of CoastWalk 2009.

As beaches around Kachemak Bay began to empty of trash – thanks to CoastWalk 2009 clean-up efforts – the walls at the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies began filling up with art.
So far, McNeil Elementary School has gathered the most beach trash – about 1,800 pounds worth – and they have the artwork on exhibit to prove it.
CACS’ challenge for ‘Life with Plastic is not Fantastic,’ was to take beach trash and turn it into art. Many found ways to show their appreciation for the shapes of a natural beach.
“We are truly amazed at the art that has been brought in by those in our community,” said Center for Coastal Studies Coordinator Melanie Dufour. “They were truly inspired.”
The art pieces will be on display through Oct. 31, with additional work accepted through Oct. 20.
While not all the numbers are tallied for this year’s annual beach clean-up effort, winners will be announced at the annual meeting Oct. 21. The public is invited to bring a potluck dish and join in a community dinner at 6:30 p.m., prior to the start of the meeting.
McNeil Elementary School Art teacher Debbie Piper, who teaches second and third graders, said her students certainly pulled their own weight with the clean-up, but mostly brought back the treasures to make art.
“As they cleaned debris from the beach, the kids were told they could bring things back. They focused mostly on beach treasures,” Piper explained. “I asked them, ‘What do you think might work together to make a piece of art?’”
Piper said the students found everything from fishing line to wire, to rusty metal pieces of interesting shapes.
“They threw the plastic in the garbage. It certainly wasn’t very pretty,” she said. “They found beauty in the natural stuff like shells and feathers that they put together with some manmade objects.”
The judging of each piece mounted on the wall at the CACS will be done by public ballot. At the annual meeting, winners will be announced.
The annual meeting/potluck dinner is also a chance to meet new CACS director, Terry Shepherd.
The guest speaker is author/photographer Taz Tally, who will discuss his new book, “Fifty Hikes in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.” He will also talk about hiking opportunities and show photos of his work. Tally teaches digital and landscape photography at the Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer, as well as various online classes. He has a doctorate in geology.

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Posted by on Oct 14th, 2009 and filed under Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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