The goal of Wasteland is to teach—through hands-on art making—as many students and community members as possible about the environmental, social, aesthetic and economic impacts of illegal dumping on our High Desert ecosystem. To date the Wasteland collaboration has yielded a series of more than 70 large and small-scale flower sculptures made entirely from trash collected by Eastside High School students at illegal dump sites in the Antelope Valley. The project has involved more than 600 visual and performing arts students, many who came to the project with little or no sculpture making experience. The students have gained a great sense of achievement by honing creative problem solving skills throughout the project. This project meets and exceeds state core curriculum standards in Performing Arts, Health, Mathematics, Science and Government, as well as national museum accreditation standards.
Wasteland is the first project of the Green MOAH Initiative. The Initiative is the Museum’s public engagement program that utilizes art and environmental education as a creative catalyst for living greener, more sustainable lives. Museum staff developed the initiative to expand the Museum’s hands-on arts education programming and to fill the need for multidisciplinary arts education in the Antelope Valley. Green MOAH was inspired by the City of Lancaster’s Net-Zero Power policy which has the goal of converting to 100% renewable energy sources by the year 2020. With the success of Wasteland, future Green MOAH projects will include wind energy, solar energy, water resources and sustainable design.
The Wasteland project was selected for funding by a panel from the Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force (AVIDTF), and made possible by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. In the spirit of building community partnerships, AVIDTF brought together many people from numerous institutions to fund the project. Many thanks to Christine Borzaga, Assistant Deputy to Supervisor Antonovich and AVIDTF co-chair, Doug Burgis, AVIDTF co-chair and all respective members for their commitment to the project and for working to eliminate illegal dumping in the Valley.
In 2014 support staff, volunteers along with 55 high school students were honored in Council Chambers by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for raising the bar in arts and environmental education. They were awarded special commendations from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for their Dedicated Service to the Affairs of the Community.
“The Wasteland team designed and implemented a model for success that has set the precedent for future projects by actively and creatively combating illegal dumping in our neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Antonovich. “They definitely earned this recognition."
Project Photo Documentation Provided By :
Edwin R. Vasquez