Keep Guntersville Beautiful partnered with the Mountain Valley Arts Council to host a photography exhibit called “Guntersville EXPOSED: Images of Our Dirty Little Secret”. The exhibit featured images made by local professional and amateur photographers and public officials. It showcased both the community’s scenic wonders contrasted with unsightly pictures documenting the harmful impact of litter. The exhibit had 350 in-person guests and almost 800 visitors to the on-line gallery. It was so well-received that our local schools adopted the exhibit as a virtual field trip for E-learning Day. This exhibit is credited with significantly raising public awareness about litter and bringing out record of numbers of volunteers for our Great American Cleanup and beautification events.
On May 15, more than 4,000 students, teachers and community volunteers gathered on Los Angeles’s Dockweiler State Beach to take part in the 21st annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup Day. Throughout the entire school year, the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education taught students about the impact litter has on the ocean, the shoreline, and marine life. Students ages 8-13 learned about the importance of a clean, healthy environment and the lesson culminated in a fun school-wide cleanup day!
The volunteers spent the morning picking up trash, paper, plastic and cigarette butts from the state beach. They also took part in a long-standing tradition of creating aerial artwork to spell out an environmental design or phrase. This year’s phrase, “Clean Me Up :)” was a text-message-like-design sent from the ocean to raise awareness about the severe marine litter problem. The message reminded local Los Angeles residents to clean up their trash and litter to beautify the beach and sustain the ocean.
The event was an excellent start to the beautiful summer season ahead. Sponsors included the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, the City of Los Angeles, Spectral Q and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful. The participating organizations plan to continue the cleanup day for many years to come because it is a great way to get young students engaged and excited about their environmental impact. Thank you Los Angeles Unified School District for keeping your city’s beaches and oceans beautiful!
Jeremy Underwood, a Houston-based photographer and visual artist, is recognized for his series, Human Debris, spotlighting the environmental condition of Houston’s waterways through the building of site-specific sculptures assembled out of harvested refuse collected from the beach.
Underwood writes: “Human Debris is a commentary on what humans leave in the natural landscape. Each found material lends itself to a new creation, encompassing the former life of the debris into each sculpture. These objects are simply artifacts to support the work, photographed in interaction with the landscape, then left to be discovered. This work challenges viewers to reflect upon our consumer culture, the relationship we have with our environment, and the pervasion of pollution.”
See more of Underwood’s Human Debris images at jeremyunderwood.com.
(Photo by Jeremy Underwood.)