The Goguikian Foundation celebrated the launch of its latest recycling project, the "Extraordinary Art Exhibition", in an opening ceremony at the Beirut Souks, under the patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, where a number of talented Lebanese artists were featured turning waste into art.
This exhibition is part of the Goguikian Foundation's yearlong campaign to raise awareness about the environment which began last October (2013) with the launch of "Ready, Set, Recycle", a pilot recycling campaign in Bourj Hammoud in partnership with the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud and the Ministry of the Environment.
"There is more to waste than meets the eye and it is time for each one of us to act as active citizens to speak on the issue of waste management," stated Soheila Hayek, the Executive Director of the Goguikian Foundation. "Waste is only waste when we mix everything together. Separated, we end up with valuable commodities."
There are 41 prominent artists, sculptors, designers and architects taking part in this event who will be displaying their "waste turned into art" pieces, emphasizing the need to recycle waste to help in saving the environment.
Some of the most outstanding art works include recuperated veneers from a carpentry workshop used to create an armchair. A Pepsi crate and wooden pieces collected from the port were employed to create a table. Other examples of waste turned into art pieces were old computer scraps turned into sculptures, as well as restoration of old clocks and bicycles utilized to make a light suspension.
"For the first time in Lebanon, we see local residents and local businesses, artists, designers, architects, schools and NGOs, local government and national government collaborating on a recycling pilot project," explains Hayek. "Landfills are at capacity and polluting our water, soil and air. There is an urgent need for a revision of Lebanon's waste management policy. Reducing, reusing and recycling should become the motto of our national waste management policy if we are to save our environment."
This project was designed by the Foundation's scholarship recipients, working in partnership with the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud, the Ministry of the Environment, eight local schools, and local banks and businesses.
The "Extraordinary Art Exhibition" will run from June 20th - 28th, from 11:00 am till 8:00 pm at "The Venue" in Beirut Souks, Solidere. Local partners include NGOs such as TERRE Liban and Arcenciel, as well as local associations such as the Armenian Red Cross, Karageusian and Jinishian Foundation, among others.
The Goguikian Foundation is an apolitical, non-religious and non-profit philanthropic foundation registered with the Interior Ministry of the Lebanese Government (Reg. No. 1720). It encourages active citizenship and the civic engagement of Lebanese Armenians by supporting university education, providing specialized training, offering Arabic language courses, and promoting devotion to service, community and country.