Cache Valley to celebrate earth day with recycling and art

The worlds of art and recycling will become one at the Earth Day Downtown Street Festival on Friday.The celebration, presented by the Cache Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA), is meant to combine the seemingly two different spheres to “green the arts” in Cache Valley.Amanda Castillo, program director for CVCA, said, “My goal with this is not to just showcase the earth, but to showcase what talent in our valley is creating with the concept of recycled art, with a focus on our local economy.”Local artist, Doug Adams, has come to embody this concept in his bell sculptures made from scrap metals and junk like old whiskey bottles.Adams said, “We are such a disposable society, we throw so much stuff away that could be of use. I recycle 3,000-4,000 pounds of steel a year in my art that would have ended up probably in a landfill.”Adams worked in a steel mill for 30 years and retired in March to follow his passion of creating recycled art.”If you find something that makes you happy, do it. I felt like I had to make a living and not follow a dream for 30 years,” Adams said. “Don’t worry so much about day to day, if you love what you do, the money will follow. I do very well selling my art, but ultimately I derive pleasure from creating it.”Adams has made over 700 sculptures, which are generally musical bells he sells throughout the U.S. from his website, One of his creations will be unveiled at the festival on Friday as a permanent piece of city art in front of the Thatcher Young Mansion on 100 South.Recycled glass is part of the sculpture, which Adams got in a Park City dumpster diving for old bottles. It also is made of railroad spikes, a fire extinguisher, snow tire chains and an old plow disc.Visual arts are not the only piece of the Earth Day pie, however. Todd Milovich, local musician and teacher, will give a concert performance with his band the Gypsy Junk Jam, which specializes in folk music.Originally, Milovich started building instruments out of junk wood and the idea evolved to his music students pounding on junk the group salvaged from dumpsters to make music.”My music students liked to do deconstructionist stuff, and we just went out and started pounding on stuff,” Milovich said. “It has the punk aesthetic. It is experimentation with no rules.”Milovich will also lead an audience junk jam where anyone can participate in the performance.”Music is meant to be played by everyone. We live in a world that has been commercialized, canned and bought,” Milovich said. “It creates this standard of, ‘I have to look like that, have that instrument, etc. or I am not playing real music.’ People used to gather to play it before it was recorded.”The Junk Jam has no standard to judge by; participants don’t have to know a song to play. Rather, the idea is organizing sounds into music. Milovich said organizing is done by people interacting and having a musical conversation.Castillo, organizer of the festival, said, “What is neat about both of these guys is their connection to their materials. Doug worked with steel for so long, and Todd can hear the musical quality in anything.”The artists are part of Earth Day because they have the vision of getting the community involved and using disposed materials, Castillo said.”We can all be better at recycling and being green, and these guys are an inspiration,” Castillo said. “Even though it can seem overwhelming, doing something is better than doing nothing.”Also included in the line-up is a magic act by Richard Hatch, whose performance will use pollution as a theme. A ceramics class will use recycled clay and live music and performances will run throughout the day. All food vendors are local restaurants, which Castillo has provided with compostable containers for the day with the hope of exposing them to the idea of using the items in their day-to-day business.Admission is free, and the festival runs from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 22. Festivities will be located on 100 South in Logan between the Thatcher Young mansion and Main Street. For a complete schedule of events, visit

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