When I can’t sleep and get tired of late night Infomercials, I watch a neat little show on PBS called “Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations.” It’s an art show from KPTS public television that’s on at 4:00 am here in St. Louis. It has two producers and a camera guy named Don who travel all over the country looking at roadside attractions and backyard art, or “folk art.”
The two producers are the lazy ones and poor Don, who has a sore shoulder from carrying around that heavy camera all day, has to do all of the work. This includes loading the van and carrying around the world’s largest ball of videotape as certified by the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
He also has to sing the opening song and narrate the show in a grizzly voice. On top of that he’s a vegetarian and the producers are not, so a lot of the time Don has to survive on potato chips and fruit if they can’t find a vegetarian restaurant in the small towns they visit.
The neat thing about this show besides the stars is that most of the art exhibits that the producers look at are made by itinerant artists with no formal education or training. And most of the really interesting pieces are made out of scrap metal, concrete, or trash. In other words, it’s all recycled.
There are a lot of events, festivals, and fairs going on in a big city like St. Louis. These festivals generate tons of trash that clog our landfills. Last year, the event celebrating Earth Day decided to practice what they preach and be more responsible and generate less trash. It was a success. A program was created to turn some of this trash into art.
If you want to view some of this type of trash into art in St. Louis, here’s where you can find it:
According to the Healthy Plant Magazine: “Events are inherently wasteful. People come to eat, drink and have a good time. Everything is disposable and single serving. What if we could take that trash and turn it into a resource? Well, we can. St. Louis Earth Day has been implementing Recycling on the Go for several years now, taking its green event model for the Earth Day Festival in Forest Park and adapting it to other events in the area.”
And here’s an idea for all of you artists or wanna be artists: start creating a little of your own “junk art.” Whether it’s leftover construction materials, automobile parts, or recycled paper and paint. You just might become rich and famous, or at the very least you’ll bug the heck out of your neighbors. And you’ll definitely be helping the environment.
This year the trash into art program received a big boost in materials because of the participation of the Taste of St. Louis event. The event drew 300,000 people this year, and that’s a lot of trash. The St. Louis Artist’s Guild has turned it into an exhibit of art to show how it can be done.
From big events to small community events, St. Louis Earth Day can help. For more information on this worthwhile cause visit www.stlouisearthday.org