The Lyndon House Arts Center will host the new Collections from our Community: Michael Lachowski’s Trail Trash. The oldest labeled bag of Trail Trash in the collection is from 1995 and it goes on into 2000.
When Michael Lachowski goes hiking or backpacking he picks up trail litter. When he gets home, no matter what it may be, how much or how little, he puts it in a sandwich bag, labels it with where he went, what trail, and who he was with. Trail mix bags, lots of cigarette butts, a lead ball / bear bullet, foil, a glow stick, shotgun casings, and fishing lure. Some trails are more littered than others — one bag contains a single lollipop stick. At first the collections seem insignificant, but when you start aggregating it, something as simple as this, little pieces of trash in a bag, have a story to tell. It shows the impact of other people and Michael, wanting to be a good little camper, wants to tidy up. Even small pieces of trash stand out on the trail. A blue piece of plastic pops even among the plants and the flowers. It’s not supposed to be there. Michael would collect small pieces of trash as he walked, cramming them into his backpack pocket. He wouldn’t empty it out until he got home from a trip, and then would have a tendency to get nostalgic about the experience. He started getting wistful looking back at these recent hikes and the trash took on more importance than when initially picked up. Some of the trash was so visually interesting it inspired him to create this collection.
Picking up trail litter expands on the wilderness motto that appears on the Woodsy Owl patch on his backpack: “Pack it in, pack it out.”
Michael Lachowski’s Trail Trash is on view from March 3 through May 2, 2020. He will be speaking about his collection on Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m.
Lyndon House Arts Center, located at 211 Hoyt St in Athens GA, is part of the Arts Division of the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department and is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriation of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.