Award #69: Trash Bubbles

There’s little doubt the onslaught of packaging this holiday season will bring about more than our fair share of waste. In fact, nationwide, we collectively throw out about 25% more trash from Thanksgiving through New Year’s than we do any other time of the year.

Enter artist, Lynn Radford.  For the last five years she has been creating Trash Bubbles and giving new meaning to the age-old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”


Trash Bubbles are 3-D poetry collage pieces made from discarded consumer packaging that can be sent through the mail as is. The project started as a way for Radford to send art to other members in her group, The International Union of Mail Artists.  It has since morphed into an effort to have people join her on her environmentally conscious journey. Radford says,

“I’d like to spark conversation, getting people talking, encourage participation.” 

She describes the work as quirky, kitschy micro-stories. Most contain messages, others are poetic. “I am always on the lookout for colorful bits to use in my artwork. The bright pink thingamabob I picked up in the street might well become central in one of my Bubbles.”

As winner of an Awesome Pittsburgh grant, Radford is curating an upcoming Pittsburgh exhibit titled Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash. It’s designed to bring about an awareness of trash as art. Awesome Pittsburgh Trustee Lauri Fink notes this is important because,

“Art is a form of communication and the amount of trash we produce is a problem. Lynn’s work promotes the message and need for reuse, and contributes to the reinvention of our city and how we live in it.”


Radford has issued the call for Trash Bubbles from artists around the world to exhibit alongside her work. She also intends to set up public workshops and send a mass mailing of 200 Trash Bubbles to coincide with the exhibit. Visit Radford’s website for more information about Trash Bubbles or to contact the artist directly.