One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure


By Keera Frye- 12th Grade, Southmoreland High School

IMG_0020Bubble wrap, dried out markers, corks, old VHS tapes, burnt out light bulbs, carpet samples, CD cases, broken crayons. These are all things that people would typically just label as “useless” and simply throw in the garbage. However, the people at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse have different plans for these items. They sell these items in their shop and also host Creative Conundrum Labs for people in the community.

“The Creative Conundrum Lab is a way to draw people into the shop and give them an opportunity to explore different ways to use a material that they may have just thrown away before,” said Creative Education Assistant, Laura Ramie.

Creative Conundrum Lab participants painting

Creative Conundrum Lab participants painting

 

The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse hosts a Creative Conundrum Lab once a month. At the lab, the participants are asked to focus on the one provided material and creatively turn it into something else. August’s Creative Conundrum Lab was held on the 13th and the conundrum material was dried out markers. Participating artists learned how to turn the dried out markers into paint and then created their own unique paintings.

 

“Learning how to turn something I would’ve thought was useless into art was my favorite part,” said 16 year old artist Marissa Kirkman.

Cores from dried out markers becoming usable paint

Cores from dried out markers becoming usable paint

And that is the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse’s mission. They want to promote resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through the reuse of materials.

“This place has a great mission,” said volunteer Kim Payne, “And it’s a place that I can be creative and just feel at home.”

The Creative Conundrum Labs occur one Sunday every month at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. It is free and open to people of all ages. In fact, volunteer Emily Harris, 66, encourages everyone no matter their age to come visit the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

“Seeing people put things that most people consider trash to creative and productive uses is something amazing,” said Harris. “It can change your perspective.”

Ramie hopes that when people leave the shop, they start to “think twice” before throwing something away. One man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure.

Final Product of Marissa Kirkman using crayon resistance and paint from dried out markers

Final Product of Marissa Kirkman using crayon resistance and paint from dried out markers

 

Keera

Keera Frye is a senior at Southmoreland High School. She lives in Ruffsdale, Pennsylvania. Keera started writing for her high school newspaper, The Tam O’ Shanter as a freshman. She has been an editor for 2 years. Keera is also a Varsity Cheerleader and a Kids and Company dancer. Keera is most passionate about dance and writing.

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