The Valley by Scott Oliver sums up the kind of art that can be created when you take a look at trash and see it not as something to send to a landfill, but something to transform into a new, beautiful item. While you're looking at an old chair, you're also looking at our environment - from which it came and to which it will go, either in a healthy way or, more likely in an unhealthy way. This chair was rotting in a salvage yard. The artist rescued it and from the upholstry and stuffing, recreated the Hetch Hetchy Valley before it was dammed and used as a fresh water reservoir. The artists hope viewers see the connection between natural and artificial environments that we tend to forget are indeed connected. This is one of many pieces from the SMART Art Competition, which brought out some great artists who use trash as their artistic medium. Click through to check out more.
Photo via Jaymi Heimbuch