[image-1]Charleston may have been voted the No. 1 city by Travel + Leisure readers again, but local artist Deane Valentine Bowers contends that despite its beauty, Charleston is dirty. In her new exhibition Creative Reuse Charleston, Bowers says she hopes to do her part to help clean up the city’s streets. Check the trash-inspired art out at the Main Library’s Saul Alexander Gallery now through the end of the month.

Bowers made all of the pieces in Creative Reuse from trash she’s collected around the the city. But Bowers isn’t in the Ranks of Deauchamp, flipping toilets and scaring people; she instead seeks to inspire more positive sentiments with her art.

“I hope to uplift people,” says Bowers. “I want everyone to smile and spread light and cheer. That is the best thing in the world.”

Bowers says that she finds the trash while walking in her daily life. After finding the objects, she then constructs them into sculptures, utilizing bright colors and simple scenes. Many of the sculptures in the new exhibition are facades of homes reminiscent of the Charleston singles around the city.

“I love the idea of home and the idea that home is everybody’s sanctuary,” says Bowers. 

Ultimately, Bowers hopes in particular to inspire kids to see what’s possible when you see things that are considered garbage a little bit differently.