Entries by YAWS (5)


YAWS Teens Create New Mural in West Berkeley


YAWS and ARTUP! Exhibit Garbage Globes at TEDxGoldenGate: Teach Compassion

The motivation to create our Garbage Globes emerged from a talk given by philosopher Slavoj Zizek in the documentary “An Examined Life.” Zizek makes the argument that today's ecologists must feel as comfortable in a landfill as they do in an old growth forest. As our landfills grow, we have to consider man-made or artificial materials as another part of nature. Zizek believes it is time to stop processing refuse from a mind set of shame, disdain, and denial. With awareness, compassion, and creativity we can see what we produce and consume in a new light, and discover poignance and beauty in our garbage.


The Garbage Globes were built to demonstrate how we can create something dynamic by combining natural materials with things we usually throw away or recycle. Artificial materials are seen new ways when reconfigured and placed in a new context. Everything used to construct the globes was found in salvage yards, garages, junk drawers, garbage cans, or recycle bins. Students from Berkeley’s Young Artists Workspace (YAWS) and participants of ART UP! brought in bags of collected plastic cups, soda bottles, bubble wrap, rubber bands, plastic bags, leftover building supplies, and garden debris and sculpted them into amazing artistic materials.  


Berkeley High School student and YAWS artist Madeline King describes her experience as a globe collaborator, “One of the main ideas behind our project is that trash, or what people consider to be trash, is not necessarily something to be disposed of. I was amazed how plastic cups or wads of crumpled brown paper seem worthless alone, but when you secure masses of them together, you start to notice the power and beauty within them. I love how the installations look, how pieces of garbage form interesting patterns when you give them attention and appreciation.”


Jennifer Burke

Director of YAWS and ART UP!


YAWS Anniversary Celebration, Nov. 8

To commemorate a decade of art at YAWS, we held an art “happening” at Totland Park on November 8th, 2009. It was a day to revel in the brilliance of children’s art and enjoy lovely food and drink donated by our wonderful supporters, including Picante, Mi Tierra Foods, and several awesome parents who brought everything from homemade ginger bread to deviled eggs! Children and adults alike participated in a selection of artmaking booths in and around the park. This celebration also provided a chance to appreciate the completed renovation of the Totland Mural (yes, we did receive funding for this project and we have the City's Department of Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront and our amazing council member Linda Maio to thank!!) 

To see photos of the our sun filled day of art fun, click on http://yaws.squarespace.com/images-snapshots/10-year-anniversary-celebration/.


Totland Mural Renovation

Our 10-year-old mural was faded and chipping away by the day! Clearly, it needed restoration. Thankfully, Council Member Linda Maio was determined to help, and the City of Berkeley's Department of Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront generously provided the funds to complete the project. Several thoughtful neighbors and community members helped to bring life back to the mural's whimsical flora and fauna. Thank you to all who put paint to the wall and made our mural shine again for years to come:

  •  Ines Chapela
  • Gemma Searle
  • Kyla Searle
  • Phoebe Sackman Brown
  • Hildy Sackman
  • Tom Brown
  • Laelena Brooks
  • Misha Brooks
  • Natalie Vallette
  • Tony Natera
  • Rozy Bathrick
  • Madeline King
  • Katie Tsuji
  • Sophie
  • Daichi Murokami
  • Hitomi Murokami
  • Kenji Murokami
  • Monica Gyuail
  • Veronica Chater
  • Caitlyn
  • Silas Burger

We would also like to extend a special appreciation to Council Member Linda Maio, her assistant Nicole Drake, and Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront staff member Bill Toderoff for their extra efforts to see this project through.