Turning trash into art

Family and events coordinator, Chrissie Wysotski (right) and volunteers at the Whitby Station Gallery for the Trash Train event.

Some call it trash, but some call it art. Before you make the move to take out the garbage, there are masterpieces waiting to be made out of your old CDs and cardboard boxes, says Chrissie Wysotski, the family and events coordinator at the Whitby Station Gallery.

Wysotski runs a program at the gallery called the Trash Train. It made its debut in the fall of 2015 but stemmed from previous programs at the gallery called Collaboration Station and Ordinary Extraordinary which made its debut in 2012 and involved the art of making extraordinary things from just ordinary stuff.

Although Wysotski and the rest of the Whitby Station Gallery’s team are often changing and updating the program every two years, the idea remains the same.

“The program provides an opportunity for families and friends to get together, meet new people and have fun creating some art,” says Wysotski.

The Trash Train, a family drop-in program that runs on the first Sunday of each month from October to June, is free for all ages. The idea is for members of the community to create fine art pieces that must be made using inexpensive, everyday materials.

Wysotski says the program was instantly a success with the Whitby community.

“We currently have approximately 50 participants that drop in during the three hour time slot and they stay an average of 20 to 40 minutes,” says Wysotski. “It’s been amazing to see the impact that this program has had within the community. Friends and families make it a meeting place to connect, have fun and learn new skills and techniques.”

Some of the materials that Wysotski incorporates into the program are old CDs painted black for participants to use a scratchboard technique to create snowflake patterns. Kleenex boxes have also been transformed into shadow boxes where members learned how to create a scene using silhouettes and gained an understanding of positive and negative space.

“We literally take materials that were headed for the trash and make art out of them,” says Wysotski.” “The success of the Trash Train program has been overwhelming and is an essential part of programming that we offer as a community gallery.”

To be a part of the Trash Train program, drop by the Whitby Station Gallery on the first Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or for any questions, call the gallery at 905-668-4185.