Artist turns abandoned tires into art around Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Worn-out tires fill neighborhoods in the capital region, creating eyesores. The parish has been working on ways to remove them in its fight against blight. One man has a unique solution: turn the trash into art.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower traveled from California to transform an empty lot at the intersection of Winbourne Ave. and Barlette St. into a pathway lined in tires. The artist partnered with The Walls Project, which aims to clean-up and beautify the city.
“I've created a meditation labyrinth, it’s based on the labyrinths that show up in Cathedrals in Europe,” said Gilkes-Bower.
The artist took the project one step further, planting flowers, food and herbs inside the tires.
“It’s pretty wonderful to take what usually is an eyesore and transform it into materials for a garden,” said Gilkes-Bower.
All of the tires used were dumped in nearby neighborhoods. It only took two days for the artist and a group of volunteers to collect more than 300 of them.
“A lot of times they just get put in abandoned lots and dead end streets,” said Gilkes-Bower.
Abandoned tires can sometimes create a hub for mosquitoes, so the Metro Council has agreed to buy a tire shredder to get rid of them. But until then, Gilkes-Bower has found an alternative solution.
“I'm in support of any sort of transformation that takes something that feels like trash and makes it into a meaningful material with value,” he said.