Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art By J.H. Shapiro (Author) and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (illustrator)

This uplifting picture book biography about community-based Detroit artist Tyree Guyton introduces the use of recycled items in art and how one person can make a big difference in the lives of young people.

Tyree Guyton, an urban environmental artist, loved his childhood home–that’s where his grandpa Sam taught him to paint the world. So he wanted to wake people up… to make them see Detroit’s crumbling communities. Paintbrush in hand, Tyree cast his artistic spell, transforming everyday junk into magic trash. Soon local kids and families joined Tyree in rebuilding their neighborhood, discovering the healing power of art along the way.The story spans from Tyree’s childhood in 1950s Detroit to his early efforts to heal his community through art and his creation of the Heidelberg Project–an interactive scultupre park–in the 1980s. Tyree’s awards include Michigan Artist of the Year and International Artist.

MAGIC TRASH offers strong themes of working together, the power of art, and the importance of inspiring community–especially kids–to affect action. The Heidelberg Project is internationally recognized for providing arts education to children and adults and for the ongoing development of several houses on Heidelberg Street. Not only does the Heidelberg Project prove that when a community works together it can rebuild itself, but it also addresses the issues of recycling, environmentalism, and community on a global level.

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