Why , they ask me....

assemblage paper church
Paper Church done by 88 Year Old Man with Dementia

Recycled paper cardboard church, by 88 Year Old Baltimore Man with Dementia , Old Man Joe Walters , Originally my story was published in yahoo and the news, but he is since long gone. 

Eco Art: Art Helps Dementia.

I'm always getting asked why. Why do I spend a lot of time talking about and promoting eco-art ? Why do I use trash in my art? Why do I spend a lot of my time writing about and promoting other artists that are would-be competitors? Why, why, why?

I suppose these questions have a few good answers and it dates back some thirty years ago. Recycling and the environment has been a passion of mine from way back. I remember spending summers in Maine and wishing my own town was as green and litter-free.

My earliest memory of wanting to re-purpose was collecting broken toys from the creek with my friend Jack, hoarding them for later use in my small but quaint outside playhouse. These bits and pieces would later become baked key ingredients in fake lasagna or toy soup, having worked for hours to prepare them in tiny dishes and feed them to my stuffed animals and play friends (who thought it tasty but as of standards of today we would not be allowed to serve such dangerous dishes...)

My love the environment dates back when my "biological father" threw a paper plate onto the parking lot of a bowling alley once. I almost killed myself jumping out of his car to go and get it and put the trash in it's proper place. Why, he asked me did I care about a stupid paper plate? I remember at only six years scolding him that littering was just plain ugly and lazy. " After I lectured him on this, I made him promise to never do it again, so I can only hope that held true over the years. This love of wanting a cleaner world empowered me with the hope that sometimes setting a good example and doing the right thing can be contagious.

I spend a good deal of my time writing about other artists who also share love for the environment. I don't view them as competition, I view them as family ---- fellow artisans working towards the common goal of putting their hearts and souls into something that we all believe in. Maybe we are all members of the same "guild" so to speak having the same "care and concern" for the environment.

All big dreams start out small, and no matter what your religious beliefs, I truly believe that kindness is contagious.

In this story, I had told one of my friend's father who made paper houses in his spare time. Even after the dementia set in, the paper houses were something of splendor.

Art heals.