Green Cuban Refugee Boat

I mentioned earlier working with Trash to Treasure (T2T) on a project. We had been seeking an object to cover with litter and place in some public beach location. I expected to locate, or have donated, a surf board, or canoe we could use for the “armature”. What showed up was something quite remarkable. Being in Florida we have many small boats that arrive here from Cuba (about 90 miles to the south).  The small make-shift, well made, utilitarian boats are spotted on the beaches quite often. Our local towing companies are called to haul them away. One such 15 foot boat was picked up from Lauderdale by the Sea this past December. It was easy to see that brave refugees once filled the boat then abandoned quickly once they made landfall. When Sal’s Towing got wind of the fact that we were looking for something for our project they graciously offered to donate the green boat, pictured here, for the project. We were thrilled.

Now that we knew what the item was for the collaborative art project, we next needed to figure out where and how we were going to set up our staging area to complete the project, and then to identify an individual, group or governmental agency who would be taking ownership of the boat when the project was completed.  Many moving parts to the project, and with it being much larger than we originally discuss there were additional factors to consider in terms of responsibility.  I had developed good relationships with groups doing beach clean-ups and knew I could at least get the volume of beach plastic we needed from local organized “Beach Sweeps.”

This was a collaborative project from many directions, and it was only one part of the bigger project T2T was working on: “3 days of documentary films to educate, inspire and call you to action.”  The events were promoted as an ECO ART film Festival. What the BLEEP do you now about WATER?  Covering: Pollution, social justice, water rights and SOLUTIONS. 

We had a deadline for when the project was to end — I had a few days to come up with a colorful design that could easily be maintained by  young volunteers that would be asked to select from color sorted trays of beach plastic.  I could see this would be lots of fun, and would take many volunteer hours to complete. It was much bigger than the original vision, but I was game on.

Have you had a project “expand” on you? Don’t you just love a good challenge?

Contemplate how you’d set up the project for completion.