Inspired by the amount of garbage that is throughout the school every day, Ms Collins and Ms Nezil took an opportunity to teach their students how wasteful we are as a society. From soda cans to lamps, the goal for the class was to create art through recycled items, showing that students should be more attentive when it comes to waste.
Collins, one of the teachers in the Art department, explained what she’s trying to show through the project for others to see.
“This project has two parts to it,” said Collins. “The first is to give the artists the experience of re-imagining garbage, of having garbage actually turn into a valuable commodity. They saw what could be very beautiful thrown away in the trash. The second part of the project was for the finished art to speak about the issue of garbage. We all have the habit of throwing away garbage, and when we throw it away it’s out of sight and out of mind. But ‘away’ isn’t just disappearing, it actually has to be dealt with and it has to go some place.”
Collins went on to elaborate on how important the implications are when we ignore garbage altogether, listing out how it impacts the Earth and the environment that it’s creating for people, animals, and plant-life.
Nezil, Collins’ student teacher, explained what inspired her to start this project in the first place.
“I think we live in a society that really is drawn to new things,” said Nezil. “In a society that likes to consume in a lot of ways, many things get thrown out; a lot of people don’t really understand what that means. There are things about the environment that a lot of people don’t know about. Actually, my favorite part of this project is that each person chose an environmental issue that meant something to them. I think a lot of people learned a lot from each other which was the great part.”
Nezzle also stated that initially it was a discussion between her and Ms. Collins; however, Nezzle decided to expand on the idea and make a unit out of it.
According to Google, the amount of garbage that is wasted yearly is around 222 million tons, which is close to the same amount as food production in Saharan Africa (230 million tons).