Urban Upcycling

When it comes to trash hunts and treasures, Cleveland has been getting a lot of attention lately. Upcycling is everywhere these days, and folks over at Cleveland Flea seem to be gaining ground.

When I started experimenting with upcycling in 2008, I had never even heard of the word. Is that what I was doing — taking junk off the streets and turning it into something useful?

Kids seemed to have fun with the things I found, painting old discarded cardboard, hubcaps and CDs that were lying around. To think they could use it to make beautiful art in several abandoned storefronts around town was an added bonus.

These days, there are lots of pop-up events and recycled art displays popping up along fence lines, gardens and trash receptacles. It is fun to follow this trend across other urban cities like Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Boston, but for now, I will keep my eyes on the CLE.