Florida Artist Inspired by Old Materials Sustainable art is being taken to unique and ultra-distinctive levels and forms by Joe Thompson, who lives with his wife and three children on Merritt Island, Florida. He uses 100 percent recycled and repurposed materials to create fine paintings and sculptures that are collected both nationally and abroad. A self-taught, full-time artist since 2008, Thompson’s paintings are done on recycled doors—or doors owned by clients that are sent to him— and his paint comes from landfills. All sculptures are either found objects or reclaimed steel. Some of his more intriguing commissioned works include a kinetic wind sculpture depicting a marlin chasing bait fish at Port Canaveral, near Cocoa Beach and a life-size female form consisting of more than 7,500 trampoline springs. “When I started, I didn’t have a budget,” explains Thompson. “It’s great that materials have fit into my art world and it all became fine art to me. To me, art is sacred. I’m often inspired first by the old materials I see, like old tools or scrap metal.” Thompson believes his works can inspire others that have a passion for attaining goals that may seem out of reach. “When someone wants something bad enough, they can make it happen. There are opportunities everywhere, but we have to wake up to see them,” he says. To inquire about commissions, call 321-292-0514 or email jjthmpson@ aol.com. To view his portfolio, visit JoeThompsonArt.com.. See ad, page 33. 40
Celebrating Earth Day Locally and Globally by Meredith Montgomery
epresentatives from nearly every country on Earth gathered in Paris for the 2015 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the Paris Agreement a triumph for people, the planet and multilateralism. The signing ceremony is set for Earth Day, April 22, at UN headquarters, in New York City. For the first time, every country has pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience to related impacts and act internationally and domestically to address climate change. Other key elements aimed at achieving a state of climate neutrality—having a zero carbon footprint—before the century’s end include transparency, accountability and a plan for developed countries to support climate action in developing countries. “A big part of the Paris agreement focuses on reduced use of gas, coal and oil, but there is also a focus on preserving trees and expanding forests,” says Earth Day Network (EDN) spokesperson
Timothy McHugh, referring to this year’s Earth Day theme of Trees for Earth. This year also kicks off a fouryear countdown to the environmental campaign’s 50th anniversary on Earth Day 2020. “By that mark, we hope to have planted 7.8 billion trees—approximately one tree for every person on the planet. Trees are vitally important because they soak up carbon and clean the air,” McHugh explains. In addition to countering climate change and pollution, EDN’s global tree planting seeks to support communities and local economies, protect biodiversity and inspire environmental stewardship. From global leaders convening at the UN to people participating in community events close to home, billions of the world’s citizens will celebrate our precious home planet this year. To join the worldwide observance, find an event online at EarthDay.org or participate in one or more of the local events listed here.
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