High Art Fridays Challenges the Global Plastic Epidemic

Hat by Patrick Tago Turkson (Ghana)

High Art Fridays (HAF) is an eclectic assembly of local and international artists working in a wide range of materials and iconographic ideas to address critical social, historical, and environmental issues through art, education, and community engagement.

For the past four years, HAF has focused much of its attention on the current global plastic epidemic, featuring artists around the globe who are challenging this phenomenon by the incorporation of plastic as a medium in their work. Thus, HAF’s “plastic trash into art” has gained momentum over the past several years.

The Cleveland Foundation’s Minority Arts and Education Fund (MAEF) recently granted HAF funding to explore this project further. The project, HAF Connects, is connecting eleven artists—seven from Northeast Ohio, two artists from Ghana, and one artist each from Korea, El Salvador, and Los Angeles. Hand-built wireframe cone structures called “Art Hats” were given to each of the artists to embellish with plastics that plague their communities. HAF Connects will engage on several local virtual platforms to educate the community on the hazards of plastics. Plastic “Art Hat” workshops are scheduled this coming summer and fall at Cleveland Parks and Recreation, Rainey Institute, Art House, and several other locations.

The project just completed a virtual art residency with Mozambique’s emptyroom.art. These workshops will generate a vast collection of Art Hats, which will culminate in our first Art Hat exhibition at Art House, tentatively scheduled in December. Several of the platforms will welcome community engagement and participation. For more information, please contact us at info@highartfridays.com or visit us at highartfridays.com.