Qualicum Beach students create environmental art exhibit in Parksville

‘Garbage Buster’ students from Arrowview Elementary create installation at MAC

Here’s one time where you could say ‘that art is garbage’ and be absolutely right.

Students of Jodi Waters at Arrowview Elementary School have created an art installation as part of the McMillan Art Centre’s educational initiative ETHOS, live discovery lab.

NETTED GARTBAGEwill be on display as part of ETHOS at the MAC from Aug. 1 to 30. The installation is described as a “3-dimensional, and very personal, commentary on garbage and debris.”

The walls of the MAC have been covered with netting that is decorated with garbage collected from Oceanside beaches by Waters and her students. The display will also feature facts about the environmental consequences of waste worldwide, and feature tips from students on how to reduce your individual environmental impact.

Waters has been working with students to combat local and global environmental issues for over a decade. Together with Arrowsmith students, she formed the ‘Garbage Busters’ club that has tackled waste in schools and decorated garbage cans across Qualicum Beach.

“We have, and will continue to spread the word to locals and tourists about conserving this unique ecosystem,” said Waters.

The club was formed when Waters and her students first started learning about global environmental issues like the Great Ocean Garbage Patch.

Waters says the children are particularly shocked when they realize they are part of the generation that will bear a large weight of cleaning up the damage done by the generations before.

“That’s what really encourages the kids to make a difference and think globally,” said Waters.

Her work with the students helps educate them about waste issues above and beyond the normal curriculum.

“I’ve got to take off on this, because it’s real. This is our backyard. And it’s really important them. It’s tangible, and it means something, and they see it, they can feel it, and they can do something about it,” said Waters.

The ETHOS, live discovery lab will run from Aug. 1 to 30 at the MAC.

ETHOS is an interactive educational experience at the MAC that works with community groups to educate people about environmental issues.

NETTED GARTBAGE is only one aspect of the plan that includes youth workshops, beach walks and seining and an interactive touch tank on Aug. 24.

“We’re really proud of our ETHOS educational initiative,” said ETHOS education program director Janet Richards in a release.

“The MAC is a community-based organization and this summer, we’re very excited to celebrate other amazing groups and projects which have the health of our community, our waterways and our world at heart.”

For more information check out www.mcmillanartscentre.com.

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