Upcycling: East Jesus, Salton Sea

Last Spring me and my family took a road trip to East Jesus, Salton Sea, a small town dedicated to art, and all of the art is upcycled. Mostly everything is just trash, but it has been turned into art!

Upcycling is taking old, useless, and unwanted products and transforming them into new and better products that are also better for the environment. There are lots of fun upcycling crafts, like using old plastic water bottles and turning them into plant holders or cool decorations. Its almost like recycling, but instead of throwing it away your using it again, and turning trash into treasure!

East Jesus is part of Slab City, an artists community in California near the Salton Sea – between San Diego and Palm Springs.

Definition of Upcycling from Wikipedia:

Made from discarded material that has been reused, recycled or repurposed, East Jesus encourages visitors to imagine a world without waste, in which every action is opportunity for self-expression. Assemblage and mixed-media art cover nearly every inch of it, interior and exterior. Sculptures and installations are constantly in development throughout campus, and the musical performance space holds a public address system, a stage lighting system, and a studio grand piano.[10] There are also a solar power system with a battery bank made up of expired batteries disposed by telecom companies.[11] Photography, multimedia art, performance art, writing and music are integral parts of a larger fabric, which their artists collectively are continually weaving. East Jesus artwork is living, growing and ever-changing, and embraces the thousands of varied voices from contributing artists who have added to the installation. Each day, residential staff gives dozens of free tours, and hosts visiting artists and overnight guests.[12]

When we visited East Jesus, they had a little bowling game, and a giant seesaw made out of old objects. It actually worked and me and my dad played on it. It was SUPER fun!! They also had a bunch of musical items like a xylophone and drums, all made out of recycled objects. The xylophone was made out of an old pole cut up, and the drums were old pots. This place was super fun and a great example of stuff we throw away can be reinvented!

The website for East Jesus can be found here.

I hope to do my own upcycling art project soon!

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