By Caciques Kate M. and Benji Today, artist Barbara DeVries visited our art class and talked about her work with upcycling. She began by talking about her first time in Eleuthera when she walked down the beach and was immediately attracted to all the colorful specks on the beach. Although she initially thought all the color was beautiful, she then realized that it was plastic and that it should not be there. She was model and fashion designer all of her life- she mentioned a story about how she designed clothes for Calvin Klein and her clothes were worn by Kate Moss. That is why when she first saw the plastic she was drawn to its many different shapes, colors and textures, because of her background in the fashion industry. She believes that since plastic is so plentiful in our lives, why not make it beautiful? She organizes beach sweeps here on Eleuthera and involves the local community in artistically upcycling plastic. She showed us some of her pieces and it is inspiring to see how she incorporated beach plastic into so many different beautiful creations. Over the course of the next few days we’ll be working with her to create our own plastic creations. Many of us have viewed plastic in the past as just trash, but after having listened to Barbara DeVries many of us were able to view plastic in a new, artistic light.