Community News

Plastic Crisis Inspires Children’s Art Show at Alexandria Library

8-10 Year-Olds from Local Boys and Girls Club Create Sculpture, Collages, and More


Courtesy Photos

Alexandria, VA – For the last six months, a group of kids between 8 and 10 years old at the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch of the Boys and Girls Club have been learning about the plastic pollution crisis, and it has inspired their artwork.

“These beautiful and expressive pieces included, among other works, a 20’ snake made of plastic bottles named Daisy, and Draco, a wire-framed dog made with plastic bottle labels,” says Julie Chapman, a volunteer at the club, and founder of the ALX Dog Walk, a nonprofit organization that educates people in the District/Maryland/Virginia area about plastic-free and sustainable living while also helping to beautify the City of Alexandria and protect its environment

The children’s artwork was recently on display during Earth Month at the Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library, at 717 Queen Street. Megan Zimmerman, Adult Services Librarian commented, “The Barrett Branch Library was thrilled to house the Plastic Pollution Art display created by the children from the Boys & Girls Club. The collages, paintings, and sculptures brought brightness and vitality to our Resilient Communities Collection while also drawing attention to the problem of plastic.”

Antonio Jenkins, Program Director of the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch, took the kids to the library to see the display, and their expressions were priceless.  They took great pride in seeing their artwork on display in a public setting, and when asked how they felt about the library display, they said things like: “I feel famous”; “I’ve never seen my artwork in public”; and “I feel great.”

The Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch opened its doors in October of 1936 as the Alexandria Boys Club and served boys between the ages of 6 and 18, while a Club on the other side of town, known as the Olympic Club, served African-American boys since its founding in 1943. It was not until 1973 that community leaders representing the two Clubs decided to merge the Clubs pushing the momentum of desegregation in the City of Alexandria.

As a result of the merger, the Club was named the Alexandria-Olympic Boys Club. A year later, the Club became part of the Boys Clubs of Greater Washington. In 1982, the name of the Club was changed to reflect the Club’s Co-educational activities. Finally, in 2009, after a major capital campaign held to renovate the historic building located on 401 North Payne Street, the name was changed to honor a family that had supported the Clubs for over two decades. The Club now serves the youth of the City of Alexandria as the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch.

ICYMI: Alexandria Titans Youth Football Prepares Future Stars

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

Related Articles

Back to top button