Someone has thrown garbage on the walls of the Premier Wine and Spirits Tap Room.
OK, well, maybe not so much ‘thrown’ as ‘placed’ the garbage.
And, truthfully, it’s not mere refuse, but trash that has been turned into art.
‘Trash Talks’, a new exhibition of art made from recycled materials, went on display Monday at the Tap Room and will be up through the end of the month. Some of the pieces, such as a portrait of Jimi Hendrix (which is actually on display outside the business), have been seen in other exhibits on Cayman, but other works are getting exposure for the first time.
Kerwin G. Ebanks is one of the lead members of a small collective of local artists working with ‘found materials’. This show, he said, was conceived as he was sipping a beer and talking to the Tap Room’s bartender about the work he and his fellow artists were doing.
“We said, ‘If we were to put together a show, that would be great,’” he recalled. “We had already semi-established ourselves as a loose collective.”
The group established a Facebook page and Trash Talks Cayman was born. Its members who are involved in the show include Ebanks along with Joseph Betty, Marcia Codner, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Carlo Lee, Jessica Mittleman, June South-Robinson, STOAK’D and Marianna Szekely.
Sabrina Stecyk, the store’s manager, said this is the Tap Room’s first art exhibit.
“I just like doing community stuff here,” Stecyk said, looking around at the walls, where pieces created out of scraps of plastic, fabric, bottle caps and aluminium cans were hung along the walls. “This is all garbage, but it’s so beautiful.”
A few weeks ago, the retail space was filled with puppies, as she helped out a local animal shelter looking for homes for the dogs.
“I think I’d like to do something community-based every month,” she said.
She said the current exhibit fits in well with the observance of Earth Day, April 22, and the business park’s environmental awareness.
“We’re the first off-the-grid business park,” she said, noting the buildings are powered by solar cells. The Tap Room itself does not use plastic straws, plastic bags or disposable cups. “We’ve taken the plastic-free pledge as well,” she added.
In a statement, Tania Knapik, spokeswoman for NCB Group, which owns the complex, said the show dovetails with NCB’s business philosophy.
“We want our communities to be healthy, stable, and sustainable so supporting the ‘Trash Talks’ art exhibition was a perfect fit for us,” she said.
Ebanks said the group may well participate in future exhibits. He said he’s in early discussions about mounting a show in another retail space. He’s also hoping more artists will pick up some trash and join the group.
In a way, he said the art is secondary to raising awareness about how plastic and single-use materials impact the environment.
“We’re just looking for people to join the conversation,” he said. “We’re trying to make this as much a community conversation as possible.”
An artists’ reception is scheduled from 4:30-7 p.m., Monday, April 15. The Tap Room at Premier Wine and Spirits is open 4-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturdays.