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From garbage to gallery

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Some people don't think twice when they see trash laying on the ground; others do something about it, like Anne Cummings. Only she doesn't see it as trash, to her it's treasure.

This eco-artist, as she calls herself, makes waste-scapes; re-purposing litter into art representing nature.

"I want them to enjoy it, to look at it and think that's a really pretty image of nature because I think we all respond to nature that way," Cummings said.

But she also wants people to leave with a deeper understanding.

"I want them to look closer and say it's not going to be there if we cover it up with all this stuff," Cummings said.

Until August, she'll be in the Winooski pop-up gallery district collaging these layered waste-scapes. She usually creates in her Westford studio.

"It's very low-tech," she said. "I just use glue."

Her largest piece is "Vermont Wastescapes" which hangs in the Maltex building in Burlington. Each county of the state is represented with trash she collected there.

"Sometimes I call them recycled paintings," she said.

Cummings looks for trash that isn't already in the recycling bin; the more color, designs and logos the better.

"If I'm going to be taking the time and energy to make art, then I want it to mean something," Cummings said.

She says garbage is like a historical record; seven years ago she was picking up a lot of Bernie Sanders campaign posters on the side of the road, now the trend is vitamin water.

"Sometimes I really like to play up the fact that this is what happens to things we consume-- a lot of them end up on our roadside," Cummings said.

Made in Vermont art aimed at getting people to think twice about the environment.

The Winooski Pop-Up Gallery District will be running throughout July.

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