Can Art Waste Become Artwork?

May Day was one of my favorite days as a child. For me, it still represents new beginnings. New life. New breath. Vibrant colors and fresh scents.
And with Earth Day just behind us, I can’t help but reflect on how the natural world makes us feel. Being outdoors, breathing in fresh air, looking up at the sky, feeling raindrops on our faces. It’s important. As living beings we need to feel connected to our home and the environment around us. Depriving ourselves of the simple pleasure and true blessing of connecting with the earth deprives us of light and peace. But to enjoy and feel connected to our home, we must take care of it.
Several years ago I worked with a handful of noticeably eco-conscious people. A few pages of policies to make our office eco-friendly were set in action, and we hadn’t even had our new building long enough to have a proper toilet. I remember feeling rushed into these policies, but nonetheless, my conscience was struck.
Earth Day should be every day, and it’s a responsibility we all share. I started to think about how I could better conserve, reuse, reduce, and recycle. At this time in my studio, art packaging was thrown away. I began to challenge myself to reuse every drop of paint, supply, container, and leftover scrap – even the packaging.
Since then, nothing has been wasted. Instead, art waste has been transformed into artwork. Below is one of my favorite pieces of artwork made from entirely recycled materials and inspired by my changed perspective on sustainability. “Altered Reality”.
Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead says, “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”
Once I became aware of my behaviors, finding ways to change was fun. And I realized that when we share with others our ideas for sustainability, we create community. My challenge for all of us is to find a new way we can care more for the environment at home or at work.

May today’s blog post find you inspired, hopeful, and filled with joy. I am glad you are here.

As always, sending you a message of hope, joy, laughter, and fun,

Michelle Silverman