MT. CLEMENS (WJRT) - (01/04/17) - For the past few weeks, a very beautiful chandelier has been hanging in an art museum in suburban Detroit. It was made by several volunteers - and there's a Flint connection.
The Anton Art Center in Mt. Clemens wanted to do something special for Christmas. Someone read online that water bottles could be cut up and make beautiful decorations. After working on some smaller water bottle projects, it was decided to make a chandelier in the shape of a Christmas tree.
"We had about 15 volunteers who worked consistently to help cut all of those bottles. Every last bottle had to be cut by hand," said Phil Gilchrist, Anton Art Center executive director.
Where could they get enough water bottles? Janay Young of Flint, who has been collecting empty water bottles to keep the city clean, donated several thousand to the art center.
"This is going to be our next issue. We're going to have a city full of trash, like water bottles all over the place," Young said.
She hasn't seen the chandelier yet.
"We have supplied her with what I hope were plenty of photographs," Gilchrist said.
Using water bottles, a few hula hoops, fishing line and super glue, the chandelier took shape. In a few spots, you can still see fragments of labels that stuck to the bottles.
"There are some bits and pieces that were difficult to peel off and we left those to help serve as a reminder of where these bottles came from," Gilchrist said.
As holiday visitors passed through the art center and admired the chandelier, they were amazed when they learned where the bottles had come from.
"A lot of people were fascinated by it. They had a hard time believing it was created from water bottles and were fascinated to learn the bottle were resourced from Flint. And it sort of served as a poignant reminder for all of our visitors that the Flint water crisis is even now still on-going," Gilchrist said.
The Anton Art Center has been in contact with the Flint Institute of Arts to see if they would like to display it.