It was a great turn out -- some pieces had as many as 9 bids on them. I think it is safe to say that this innovative course was a great success. It has whet my appetite for finding a way to improve upon it and expand it. Will you imagine for a moment with me what the potential is for such a course? Should it be given the opportunity to be not only a recurring course lasting an entire semester, but one that starts cropping up at academic institutions around the world? Imagine each academic institution essentially adopting a waterway to maintain and protect by partnering students enrolled in such a course with local clean up organizations. Conducting a class clean up changes a fundamental aspect of cleaning up a river or water way - it becomes like a shopping spree for artifacts.
The impact of this type of course, should it be implemented internationally, could be quite substantial. We could substantially restrict the flow of toxic debris (plastic + otherwise) to our oceans and into our food chain, while teaching young people to re-evaluate their relationship to material on a level that stretches their creative muscles and opens their eyes to the world around them in a productive and healthy way.
Sustainable practices in the arts can be fostered by academic institutions to have a huge positive impact on our environment.
We raised almost $1000 for the Friends of the Middle River from the 17 works created by the students, with roughly only 2 weeks of studio time. All these pieces were comprised of once thoroughly unloved, disregarded materials - that have now found homes and will never re-enter the waste stream. They have successfully transformed waste into art -- objects worthy of reflection and contemplation -- through their hard work and love.
Here are some pics from last night:
|Professor Paul Ryan explaining the course & introducing me.|
|Phoenix Down is so photogenic!|
|Everyone loved Sarah Webb's You Are What You Eat|
|Beth Hodges of the Staunton Augusta Arts Center was a wonderful hostess!|
|A lovely crowd!|