Thursday, April 6, 2017

Signed, Sealed, Recycled, He's Ours! Trash Collage of Stevie Wonder

It may not look like diaper box and cookie bag at first glance, but look past the surface of this portrait of a star and you'll see hair made from spiral binding and foam, and sunglasses made from comb binding and plastic bag.  This project was born out of my friend and colleague's environmental science unit. Melanie Thompson wanted to show her students how garbage could be reused or repurposed into art, so she asked me to collaborate.  I had a large box, that I cut to make the background. We decided to do a portrait of Stevie Wonder, because all year Melanie has been sending out flat, paper Stevie dolls to friends who traveled to different countries and send pictures back. This has given students an opportunity to study the geography and environment of each place "Flat Stevie" has been. And he has been everywhere!

I printed a photo of the real Stevie Wonder and traced it onto an overhead sheet to project onto the cardboard.  Two low vision students did the bulk of the work, tracing the projection and painting in the general shapes to make the contrast between shapes easier to see.

Then they filled in each shape with pieces of clean garbage. and enjoyed figuring out what food package or discarded book material would work best for which part. I hope the real Stevie Wonder knows how much we admire him and I hope the students will think twice before throwing away something that could be turned into a piece of art.

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