The old adage about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure is being taken a step further in eastern Iowa, as garbage is being turned into art. A dozen Quad Cities-area artists are working with groups of students from 12 area high schools to create eight large sculptures out of junk hauled from the Mississippi River.
Project organizer and sculptor Bill Wohlford, of Bettendorf, says "We want people to understand that art doesn’t have to be an elite kind of thing, that we can make beauty out of things that aren’t so beautiful."
Wohlford says "We’re going to draw attention to the need for environmental responsibility by using those kinds of materials and we’re going to bring area schools into it. There are eight sculptures that are going to be built with a lead artist, with a local artist that will lead the group."
Wohlford is working with students from Pleasant Valley High School on a sculpture. Wohlford says "Mine will be made out of automobile wheels and grocery carts. Another one that’s going to be really spectacular is made out of bicycles. There’ll be one made out of refrigerator doors." He says several other sculptures will be comprised entirely of driftwood.
The project, called the Mississippi Palette, will launch on Friday with an appearance by nationally-known environmentalist Chad Pregracke. The sculptures are scheduled to be done by the end of May and they’ll be put on permanent display around the Quad Cities.