A Sprout’s Story of Reconnection

By Amber Norman

The Sprouts as a collective group, have a deep interest in repurposing discarded loose parts and turning them into toys, functional art, and so much more. Our name for repurposing these items is, “Magic Trash.” The Sprouts community are also deep thinkers and have so many thoughts to share on any subject we discuss as a group. A particular topic that has come up many times throughout the year though is environmentalism. Thoughts about how to care for the planet and its residents have been shared numerous times and have been documented by myself and Bernadette. There have even been two poems that have conceptualized from these conversations. It is only so fitting that the canvas presented would reflect our Sprouts culture.

The canvas itself has been on quite a journey. It was put out at the beginning of the year as an art provocation, tape and paint. Turns out they had no interest in exploring the technique and the canvas sat, somewhat painted, and neglected. Next, it was presented with tissue paper with collaging, again it was met with little to no enthusiasm, and it sat for another few months. Finally, I painted over it with white acrylic to turn it back into a blank canvas, but the struggle continued as the canvas seemingly intentionally rejected the paint. It looked like a mess. Its fate would be ultimately, serendipitously, absolutely appropriate. The canvas itself became magic trash. The children repurposed the canvas and turned it to a work of art. They mixed a color palette to match the poem, “Green Water,” that they wrote, a poem about pollution. They also applied magic trash and other mixed media to the canvas. There is a conveyance of community, pollution caused by trash, and a pop of yellow that brings a glimpse of light to an otherwise almost grungy collection of colors. The yellow provides a feeling of hope in a world covered in rubbish.  The Sprouts have innovated ways of transforming trash into art, which is in and of itself an action of environmentalism.

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