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There’s nothing quite as sad as seeing trash on the beach, especially when the coast is as wild and gorgeous as it is here in Oregon. Somehow it just feels so wrong, so very polluted, a veritable affront to nature if you will. Most folks will simply sigh and walk past, others might pick it up, but one fine organization decided to embrace the problem and look at it differently….how about turning all that trash into art?
It’s a genius idea and the heartbeat of the project is right here in the center of our favorite coastal city of Bandon, OR. WashedAshore.org takes the trash that everyone sees as an eyesore and creates stunning pieces of artwork that they display around town and on travelling exhibits. Their mission statement is to “educate and create awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art”. I mean honestly, how much cooler does it get than that?
I first noticed the project last year when I drove past a rather spectacular “trash Eagle” on my way from Bandon down to Cape Blanco. At the time I thought it was a cool one-off piece but didn’t really look into it further. In the past 12 months it seems the project has sprouted into full-blown bloom. Our first trip downtown we saw two massive sculptures in the city center and a few days later we discovered several additional masterful pieces in a large gallery just around the corner. The whole project has taken on a life of it’s own and expanded so much there’s now an online website and even a full-blown documentary. Locally you can join the fun by bringing over trash and getting involved hands-on with free community workshops.
And the art is truly spectacular! From a gorgeous fish made out of flip flops to a life-size whale bone sculpture created from white plastic bottles and jugs, to a massive starfish embedded with colorful glass. Each piece is totally unique and paired with an environmental message about the hazards of waste and debris in the ocean. Totally creative and educational at the same time, exactly what the project is trying to achieve.
This past week Paul’s niece Alex came into town providing us the perfect excuse to check out the latest sculptures and re-visit the project. We didn’t manage to join any of the workshops, but Alex was totally taken by the artwork and enjoyed a good hour perusing the exhibits and reading the panels. We made a full day of it, walking around town, eating lunch at Tony’s Crab Shack (always one of our fav local spots), spending time at the gallery and finishing the afternoon with some ridiculously good ice cream at the new Face Rock Creamery (yes, my arm was totally twisted on this one…woe be me). I call it creative mind-feeding with some belly-pleasing thrown in for good measure. A good combo, wouldn’t you say?…and yet another reason I love this town so much.
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Where Are We Today?Boondocking in the AZ desert
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