Music Feature

Salvaged Trash Transformed into Extraordinary Art

by Rachel Knorr
Let Me Tell You About a Dream I Had: An innovative art installation created out of recycled and salvaged materials comes to Philadelphia

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure" - at least when it comes to depicting the Philadelphia Art Alliance’s innovative new art installation Let Me Tell You About a Dream I Had.  The nontraditional exhibit, created by the nationally renowned Miss Rockaway Armada, features a flotilla (think contemporary art on rafts) of seven boats consisting of various sculptural elements.  The catch is that every single component has been created from recycled and salvaged materials. 

The exhibit began simply as a pile of trash in an empty lot on South Broad Street.  Through artistic genius, the piles of junk evolved and transformed into works of extraordinary art.  Some key components include a teepee made out of dismantled vegetable crates and a small, three-chaired Ferris wheel that spins as riders pedal a bicycle chain drive. 

This extraordinary sight, featuring art, music, and dance, can be seen as the installation makes its way down the Schuylkill River this weekend with a viewing party at the Walnut Street Dock Saturday evening.   There will also be two processions of the exhibit in early September.  The first will be on September 3, when the installation will make its way through University City, down Spruce Street, ending at Clark Park.  The second will be on September 10, when the exhibit will be paraded through Kensington, down York and Front Streets, ending at FLUXSpace.  After the two processions, the installation will be deconstructed and then recreated as an exhibit at the Art Alliance’s gallery in Rittenhouse Square. 

The armada collaboration began back in the summer of 2006, when a group of performers and artists from all over the country decided to construct a flotilla of rafts and journey down the Mississippi River.  Their original intentions were to create a unique and sustainable mode of travel while presenting programs on arts and environmental issues.  Since its first year, the Armada has continued to grow presenting their exhibits in venues throughout the US and Europe. 

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