By Mack Hogan, news correspondent
In front of Aeronaut Brewing Company sat Harry the Homeless Unicorn Bison, a large animal designed around a discarded Harley-Davidson gas tank.
Smith’s repurposed unicorn bison was just one work showcased on Sunday, Nov. 8 at the third-annual Trash Bash, where local artists and youths submitted art pieces made of what would normally be considered trash. The Trash Bash featured live music and a myriad of artist displays.
According to trash artist Bob Smith, his neighbor handed him a gas tank and said, “Let’s see what you can do with this.”
Seventeen pieces from local artists, each made of discarded materials, were on exhibition.
“We live in a throw-away culture,” Smith, who was displaying two artworks, said. “Someone reported me as a hoarder because they don’t understand that I take their trash and make something beautiful.”
Every piece at Trash Bash was branded as a protest to consumerism. “Ghost Panel” by Alex Coon was made almost entirely of discarded Starbucks cups.
Smith argued corporate culture perpetuates a disconnect between the consumers and where the materials come from, not allowing people to understand how much they are wasting. Smith’s attitude captured the spirit of the event as artists protested the mass production and mass destruction by sipping on craft-brews and creating art out of the trash of others.
“I live my life as a protest to consumerism, to planned obsolescence, to throw-away culture,” Smith said.
Decorated with broken pianos and random kitchen equipment strewn around the room, the art exhibits fit well with the eclectic Aeronaut Brewing Company.
Magical Bash-Bash Cart, an installment by Three Magical Wildcats which took first place in the adult category, functioned as a centerpiece. Covered in buckets and pans, the cart was a rolling drum kit. As the night went on, attendees would come and play on the improvised kit, working in unison with the indie-rock band providing music, playing everything from Bruce Springsteen to “The Wheels on the Bus.”
“[Trash Bash] is a really cool way to look at things,” Alex Feldman, a patron banging on the Bash-Bash Cart, said. “There’s always a different perspective to see.”
The art was integrated into the space rather than being obviously displayed. The Magical Bash-Bash Cart was positioned by the door while some pieces were hanging on the wall. The Rust Mobile, a rusty rolling chair covered in squares of different colored materials that took first place in the youth category, sat between a table and a T-shirt stand.
“It’s just a really cool place, a naturally artistic spot,” Feldman said.
The event was the largest Trash Bash that 3 Graces Productions, an arts event planning service, has put on.
“There was a line out the door all day,” Jennifer Lawrence, co-owner of 3 Graces Productions, said. “They were at capacity. They were constantly moving people in and out.”
Though the work was an impressive feat of sculpture, Feldman saw the fun in creating the garbage-based pieces.
“It’s art that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” he said.
Photo Courtesy 3 Graces Productions