Art from Tornado Debris
April 27th brought tornadoes that swept across Alabama leaving a devastating trail of broken spirits, broken homes, and tons of debris. Dwayne Bass, with the help of the the youth and children of FBCW, came up with a creative way to use this debris to raise money for relief efforts. Bass is a sculptor and photographer from Atlanta with an art degree from UGA. This idea wasn’t too farfetched for him since his sculptures are made from recycled materials.
It all began when Dwayne came to make arts and crafts from debris at FBCW’s vacation Bible school. The artwork was a huge hit, and after VBS it grew into a great fundraiser. We began having designated “painting” days at the church where children and youth effected by the tornado could come make their own pieces of debris art. We took this artwork and had an art show at the Re- Inspiration Store in Atlanta. We then began selling it at the church, the Re-Inspiration Store, and now in the Virginia Highlands. Each of these pieces of art might sell anywhere from $5 to $100 depending on its size.
Dwayne came up with an idea to make a large American Flag out of the debris to be sold at a silent auction. The flag was purchased by Richard Thomas, the owner of RThomas restaurant on Peachtree Road in Atlanta. He doubled the first offer to $700 to make sure he would be the owner. Once he purchased the flag and mounted it on the side of his restaurant he decided he would put up a plaque telling the story of April 27th and where the flag came from. It was then thought that a pathway should be added leading up to the flag and plaque. Dwayne suggested a pathway be made from bricks left behind by the tornado from the Webster’s Chapel Fire Department; Mr. Thomas donated an additional $1000.
The project continues, and up to this date has raised around $14,000. It has been a creative way to bring something positive out of something negative. It is also a wonderful way to recycle much of the debris left behind. It not only helps to clean up the affected area, but also lifts the spirits of the people in the community.
Written by Amy Boozer, Jacksonville, AL
If you would like to know how you can help the tornado victims of this community please CLICK HERE