The art exhibition Trash for Some, Treasure for Others showed this week at the Polytechnic University in Valencia was the culminating piece of a coastal cleanup project promoted by American Space Valencia to raise consciousness about the importance of preserving our seas. 85 grade 11 and 12 students from American School of Valencia and Escuelas Pías San Joaquín, from Gandía, were involved.
Ms. Katherine Matles, director of American Space Valencia, described the global framework of this workshop: “It is actually a world wide project called Our Ocean promoted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry”, she explained, “and we decided to focus on children because we think as long as children are aware of the need to keep the beaches clean we are protecting our future.”
On Saturday, October 25, 2014 the students picked up trash from a section of El Saler beach. A first count totaled 4,390 butts, 240 food wrappers, 139 plastic wrappers, more than 600 bottles and cans, and more than 5,000 juice straws and café stirrers. Two days later, at the UPV, four Fine Arts undergraduates guided the students in conceptualizing and designing sculptures with recycled materials. This project reflects the spirit of the Coastal Clean Project.
“I think the children were motivated, and very, very involved in the activity. They are more convinced that we need to keep these beaches clean, they need to do their part and move other people to protect our oceans and our beaches”, Ms. Matles enthused as one of the long-term goals of this workshop.