A Blog by Nature

The Public Trashes Art

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (99)

Kaleidoscope of Trash RALEIGH — A new public art installation at one of the city’s garbage and recycling facilities encourages viewers to think about their role in minimizing waste in their communities.

Image credit: Midtown Raleigh News article by Sarah Barr January 21, 2014 Wilders Grove public art project focuses on recycling & Courtesey of City of Raleigh

The colorful 8 feet by 40 feet relief wall inside the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility is made of layered recycled materials such as t-shirts, cereal boxes and plastic grocery bags and features interactive video kaleidoscopes that focus on the recycling process.

The city will unveil the work at an open house on Jan. 25. The piece is the first of three works of public art officials expect will open in the city before late spring. Matt McConnell, one of three artists who helped lead the project, said the project was a great one, especially because of the level of community involvement. More than 200 volunteers helped collect materials and assemble during 1,200 hours of work. McConnell, who worked with artists William Lee Cherry and Marc Russo on the design and production, said he hopes the project allows viewers to consider carefully how their decisions affect the earth.

“I hope that they can think about the way that they consume and how the waste that they create contributes to the environment,” he said.

Midtown Raleigh News article by Sarah Barr January 21, 2014 Wilders Grove public art project focuses on recycling

AKBN Hero: Chris Jordan

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (161)

"Realizing the meaning behind his photos of waste “was an experience that was almost like waking up from ‘The Matrix.’ “ -- Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan is a photographer and filmmaker who documents the effects of our mass consumption on wildlife and the planet. Read more about Chris here.

Image Credit: www.chrisjordan.com/contact.php


When we show fourth-graders a four-minute film by Chris Jordan called Midway, the effect is profound. The film shows exactly what plastic means to a colony of birds on Midway Island; watch this and you, too, will feel a strong resolve to stop adding plastic to our planet.


Chris Jordan was once a corporate attorney who loved photography. After ten years of work as a lawyer, he quit his day job and used his talents to show how our garbage was affecting the planet.


His films and photography are beautiful, compelling, and startling. His photo series “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of Mass Consumption” gave people a new perspective on how much waste we generate.



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Midway: Message from the Gyre shows where some of the plastic we discard ends up – a fatal attraction to birds. Please watch Chris Jordan’s short film and tell us what you think.

Come here, Old Wellie!

Posted on January 3, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (11)

Art using re-cycled materials or found objects


It’s impossible to look at these dogs and not smile. They are one of a number of public sculptures by artist David Kemp. Kemp makes sculptures out of found or discarded objects. He describes his work rather charmingly as follows: “I make things out of things, big things, little things, old things and new things. I like to recycle things, and find new uses for things that have been thrown away. Some things say something about their surroundings, and other things become something else.”


The dogs above are made out of old Wellington boots. It’s a long haul to move our cultures back to a culture of re-use from the present culture of single-use disposability. But moving in that direction may eventually lead us to what some have called the circle economy.

Who said every child is an artist

Posted on December 26, 2014 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Picasso and thinking outside of the box 

Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Arts education programs in our schools, pre-K through high school, will help solve the problem Picasso described.

The arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education. To miss out on arts learning opportunities is to miss out on gaining the very skills and habits of mind we know are essential to succeeding in life and earning a livelihood in the 21st century: creativity; observing as opposed to simply seeing; identifying as well as solving problems; thinking outside the box; and communicating with not just words but with images, sounds, and motion — these and more are inherently part of a regularly scheduled, quality arts education program.

To read the complete article from HomeRoom, U.S. Department of Education click the link below:


Arts Education and Advocacy: An Investment in Every Child’s Future

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