Making Waste Worthwhile with Salem Public Space Project

By Joey Phoenix

Pictures by John Andrews Photography for Creative Salem

 We’ve all been there, stuck in traffic on a busy street, when suddenly a something slightly grey and otherworldly slips into your field of vision. Once your eyes focus you see it clearly for what it is.

A plastic bag.

The windswept debris has taken to the air, wrapping itself around your antenna, blocking out your radio signal, messing up your quality of existence.

Or sometimes it floats on by and you go back to singing along to Katy Perry (because baby, you’re a firework).

Plastic bags are the tumbleweeds of urban life, and many of us take their ubiquitous appearances for granted. Our brains block out their frequency because, apart from being a nuisance, this aerodynamic plastic detritus rarely affects our lives at all.

At least, so we think.

Claudia Paraschiv, artist and architect behind The Salem Public Space Project – the creative force behind the 2014 HulaArt Project and the 2015 “Move with Me” Pinwheel Project – is out to change our minds. She’s also out to make an incredible art installation that will fly over our heads for the 2017 Salem Arts Festival.

This coming year she’s teaming up with Salem Sound Coastwatch, From the Bow Seat, and volunteers from the Salem community for a whole new community art project and installation, one that will use primarily, you guessed it, plastic bags.

This past week, Claudia, along with members of SSC and FtBS, stopped in at The Phoenix School in downtown Salem to discuss the idea with some of the area’s brightest young minds and workshop the art itself. The kids were quick to join in their thoughts and opinions, even teaching the adults a few things in the process.

Stay tuned for more details! This project will surely be making waves in the months to come.

Tidal Shift – A Salem Public Space Project Public Art Project

Tidal Shift – A Salem Public Space Project Public Art Project

[x_accordion_item title=”About the Phoenix School”] A school near the heart of the city.  Since the beginning of The Phoenix School in 1981, we have been committed to being a school near the heart of the city, not only to make use of community resources, but also to be a vibrant part of our neighborhood. Even at our current location on the edge of the downtown, Phoenix kids are still a part of the Salem scene, moving easily along its sidewalks, a familiar sight to business people in the downtown as they run errands, clean up, collect ink cartridges from area businesses, make deliveries, walk to the Common, the YMCA, or the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrate May Day on Salem Common, attend a Rotary meeting, or participate in City events and celebrations. A school that cares With this commitment to Salem comes an obligation to teach Phoenix students the importance of giving back to the community from which they have benefited. Twenty-seven years later Phoenix kids are still contributing generously to their community[/x_accordion_item]

[x_accordion_item title=”ABOUT SALEM SOUND COASTWATCH”]Our Mission is to protect and improve the environmental quality of Salem Sound and its watershed. Salem Sound Coastwatch is committed to: Leading the Way to a Healthier Sea & Shore 1. Increasing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the natural resources of the Salem Sound Watershed and the immediate and chronic threats to the ecological health of the watershed. 2. Working with the public and private sectors, as well as other non-profit organizations, to foster responsible and sustainable resource management practices in the Salem Sound Watershed. 3. Conducting and facilitating environmental monitoring and scientific research in the Salem Sound Watershed and sharing the results with the public. 4. Promoting citizens’ awareness and understanding of their connection to the Salem Sound Watershed and their role in restoring and protecting its health. Salem Sound Coastwatch is a non-profit coastal watershed organization that works with government agencies, businesses, other non-profit organizations and citizens, through municipal partnering, scientific investigation, education, and stewardship. We work with the Salem Sound communities of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Marblehead and in Swampscott, Lynn and Nahant, as the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program regional coordinator for Lower North Shore region. [/x_accordion_item]

[x_accordion_item title=”ABOUT SALEM ARTS FESTIVAL”]SAVE THE DATE for next year! June 2 – 4, 2017 About the Salem Arts Festival: For three days each June, this FREE family-friendly festival transforms downtown Salem, MA, into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase their talents. Now in its eighth year, the festival boasts attendance numbers in the thousands and celebrates all the arts: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, culinary, and more! [/x_accordion_item]

[x_accordion_item title=”ABOUT JOEY PHOENIX “]Joey Phoenix is a Salem-based writer, portrait photographer, guinea pig aficionado, and proud member of the Creative Salem team. You can follow her on twitter and IG @jphoenixmedia [/x_accordion_item]

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