By Ashleigh Walters
This story was originally published in Art Hive Magazine issue #32, Winter 2019.
Dozens of shoes.
A used toothbrush.
There isn’t a kitchen sink in the mix *yet,* but if any interesting form of beach
trash gets in the path of two determined South Florida friends, it will be transformed into art.
About three times a week, Rebecca Fatzinger and Cristina Maldonado set out independently. They stroll a combined 13 miles of coastline, scooping up trash from beaches. Maldonado walks a more remote stretch, from Normandy Beach to Middle Cove Beach, and finds what she labels “Ocean Trash.” Fatzinger goes
from Bathtub Reef Beach to Jensen Beach, where she finds “Lazy Local Trash.” They haul it all home, assess the scraps, and save the most interesting pieces out of the recycling and trash bins.
Their collaborations become creative sculptures,
from The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album cover, to a wild gorilla, to topical messages regarding the Parkland School shooting, offshore drilling, and Bahamas relief efforts. They call it “TC Trash Art.”
While the friends have never kept track of the sheer volume of trash they’ve
collected during the years, they have witnessed the complexity of the issue
of beach and ocean trash. They’ve found crates carried in currents from both
Africa and Spain.
Sadly, they’ve also found dead fish trapped inside plastic
objects and a dead sea turtle with fishing line around its flipper.
“What started off as a silly hobby has become a bit of an obsession. Our goal
has always been to inspire others to get out and do beach clean ups. Once you
do beach clean ups often enough, it changes your lifestyle and you become
much more self-conscious of your plastic consumption,” Maldonado explained.
Beautiful, quirky, and unexpected; the impressions left by TC Trash Art are
anything but disposable.
CONNECT WITH ASHLEIGH WALTERS
Ashleigh Walters (www.AshleighWalters.net) is a painter and Anchorwoman at WPTV
NewsChannel 5, seen across Florida’s Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. WPTV is
committed to PROTECTING PARADISE, by raising awareness of environmental issues and
showing what’s being done to improve the quality of life in Florida.
Find extensive coverage at WPTV.com/ProtectingParadise