Beach Trash Transformed into Art

I’ve been fortunate to know artist Deborah Hecht for nearly 40 years.  In that time I’ve watched her expand from watercolorist to using ceramic tiles as her canvas, to carving, glazing and firing clay into three-dimensional installations and sculptures, to assemblages of found and finessed objects to her latest wonders — turning beach trash into breathtaking art.
        It began with collecting balloons and streamers on the beach of her Lake Michigan summer home. More and varied trash washed up: bubble wands, bottle caps, plastic shovels just to list a few.  Deborah collected, culled, and cataloged and ultimately created delightful, breathtaking works of art.
        At her recent art opening at the Woods Gallery in Huntington Woods, MI  Deborah recalled taking stock of the bags and bags of trash she had organized, “I’m an artist.  So I did what I do. I  made art out of it.”
        The exhibit is on throught August 31. Don’t miss it.  I can’t wait to return with our granddaughters.

“Beach Trash on Shutters”

Someone snapped this of me and said it looked like I had just stepped out of the painting. Maybe I was looking for a way back in?


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From Beach Trash to Art

Deborah Hecht and I have been friends for nearly four decades. Her mother introduced us (another story!). We both measure a hair under 5’.  Our sons were born a month apart. We share an affinity for lots of color, whimsy and have been known to buy the same set of dishes among other things.  Given the chance, she will proffer a dissimilarity — my feet are four sizes larger than hers.

Deborah knew she was an artist from the first crayon. She remembers making the pronouncement when she was six years old that she was an artist I did make a pronouncement at age 6 that I was or was going to be an artist.

I have had the joy of watching her artistry evolve from paintings on tile, to carved tile installations to found-object sculptures to her latest oeuvre — crazy-wonderful collages made entirely from the beach trash she finds on her walks along Lake Michigan. Those four bags snuggled up to her? Balloons. Deborah’s collages are as gorgeous as they are heartbreaking. How careless too many humans are. Thankfully, there are the rare humans who see the potential in what others toss and use it to make art.


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