It's not every day you learn how to turn a hubcap into fine art.
On Saturday, students from Manatee Elementary in Lake Worth will come to Boynton Beach to learn how to turn trash into treasure, with a city beach clean-up and an art lesson using the junk they've collected.
Rolando Chang Barrero, head of the Boynton Beach Art District, said events like this are part of an effort to turn the arts district into an educational hub for emerging young artists, in this case, the younger the better.
"The kids are going to learn about art and recycling," he said. "All that stuff you find on the beach, you don't have to throw it away, you can recycle it into art."
Jennifer Robertson, teacher of the gifted at Manatee Elementary in Lake Worth. contacted Chang Barrero about bringing her students to show them how to think outside of the box.
"[This project] takes creativity to a whole other level," she said. "It's not typical art, it's vibrant and it speaks to the kid's imagination, teaching them to make ordinary into extraordinary."
This weekend, about 21 students and their families will pick up trash along the shores ofBoynton Beach Oceanfront Park, before heading down to the city's art district for an art lesson from a local environmental artist.
Tom Bazinet, who is also known as 'Tiki Tom,' has an exhibit in the Boynton Beach Art District. He creates tiki heads and other artwork from supplies he finds on the beach. He also weaves living plants into his work, making it sustainable.
"I've always been a beachcomber," he said. "And then I started incorporating the trash into my artwork — lighters, toothbrushes, anything I could find."
Bazinet collects seashells, hubcaps, lobster buoys, broken plates, dolls, oyster shells, fishing lines and even syringes and turns them into art, which sells anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars.
He hopes that teaching a class this weekend will inspire future artist.
Travis McIntire, 7, a second-grader at Manatee Elementary, got a preview of Bazinet's exhibit on Wednesday.
His favorite piece is called "Welcome to the Beach," a skull and crossbones surrounded by syringes.
"It's really cool," McIntire said.
That piece was one of his mother's – Kathy McIntire's — favorite pieces too.
"[Bazinet's] able to get something so ugly like syringes and make it beautiful and still make a statement," she said.
Bazinet said the piece is to warn beach-goers that there are things lurking underneath the dunes that can be dangerous. In one beach clean-up, he found 90 syringes, he said.
Debby Coles-Dobay, the city's public art administrator, is happy to see that Boynton Beach's unique brand of art is bringing real issues to light.
"We want to engage the public," she said. "Overall we want public art projects that are a learning experience, whether for students or adults."
firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6648 or @attiyya_sun
If you go: Beach clean-up at Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park at 6415 North Ocean Blvd., 9 to 10 a.m., followed immediately by an art lesson at
Boynton Beach Art District 401 West Industrial Drive