Single-Wide Art: ‘Trailer Trash’ Project at Earth Day in Santa Clarita

Spartan Trailer as art space

Spartan Trailer as art space | Photo: Courtesy of Sam Breen

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On Saturday (April 16), the city of Santa Clarita holds its annual Earth Day Festival and Arbor Day Celebration from 10 am to 5 pm at Central Park. Included in the day’s slate of entertainment and eco-activities are projects by a couple of CalArts students, who have combined art, community and conservation in one 40-foot Spartan Trailer.

The 1951 trailer belongs to Sam Breen, an MFA 3 actor in CalArts School of Theater, whose Trailer Trash project is an unfolding performance piece—he’s been transforming the “tin can on wheels” into a community art space, which will eventually become a home for his mother, Lydia, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Now partially restored, the trailer will be a showcase of sustainable living and green living, complete with solar arrays, composting toilets and green materials.

“Artists and actors live a nomadic lifestyle, and there’s always this constant dilemma of how to make someplace home,” said Breen in a recent conversation. “This project has become more about taking home with you when you are on the road.”

For the Earth Day project, Breen is collaborating with Cybele Moon, an MFA-3 costume designer at CalArts, for an “upcycled” art installation. She collected hundreds of used T-shirts and tank tops from the CalArts community, cardboard tubing from rolls of upholstery fabric and rope from an old theater set to create the work.

“This large-scale art work will to cover the trailer in a soft framework of color inspired by the shades of lush vegetation,” notes Moon in an email. Breen also hopes to hold kids’ art activities in the trailer throughout the day.

Breen’s trailer has become a familiar arts space on the CalArts campus. It’s been used for art and performances during the Arts in the One World Conference and been part of Art faculty member Evelyn Serrano’s Nomad LAB Arts Program, which provides art workshops for at-risk children, aged 6-14, and are taught in part, on a voluntary basis, by CalArts students.

For more information on the Trailer Project, and its slate of scheduled events this summer, please visit the Trailer Trash Project site or watch the video below.

City of Santa Clarita’s Earth/Arbor Day Celebration
Saturday, April 16
Central Park
27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita
10 am-5 pm

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