Cleveland Artists Turn Trash into Glowing Lanterns for the Towpath Trail Lantern Parade

A Sneak Peek at the Inspiration and Materials Behind the Works of Art

Ahead of the inaugural Towpath Trail Lantern Parade, three commissioned artists have shared the inspiration and recycled materials they are using to create their large-scale lanterns.

At the March 12 event, local artists Darla Arnold, Samanatha Fryberger, Debbie Apple-Presser and Eddie “Trash Fish” Olschansky will lead off the parade with their illuminated creations and help from musical guest Revolution Brass Band.

Learn more about the artists and the environmentally-themed lanterns that will be unveiled at the event:

Beelightful
Created by Darla Arnold and Samanatha Fryberger

“To create a buzz for Canalway Partners’ first-ever Towpath Trail Lantern Parade, we wanted to shine a light on an animal native to Northeast Ohio. Not to drone on, but since insect pollinators play such an important role in the health of the planet, we felt this project was meant to ‘bee’,” said artists Darla Arnold and Samanatha Fryberger about the 3-foot tall lantern they are collaborating on. glowing bee lantern from recycled materials

Darla Arnold is a Cleveland Institute of Art graduate, artist, antique holiday collector and retired graphic designer who, with her husband, makes one-of-a-kind ornaments. Samantha Fryberger is a creative communications professional who has fabricated more than 30 large-scale mâché masks for participation in Cleveland’s annual Día de Muertos commemoration.

Lantern materials include upcycled sweet tea bottles, lightbulb packaging, candle lids, rope, newspaper, clothes baskets, frappuccino collars, cardboard boxes, and a tree branch.

Magical Light/Magical Night
Created by Debbie Apple-Presser

“I chose to do a lightning bug. What child or adult isn’t awed by its magical light that appears andLightning bug lantern from recycled materials disappears in the night? I have designed it to have two completely different looks. One when seen in the light and the other in the dark,” said Debbie Apple-Presser of her lantern.

Debbie Apple-Presser is an artist and mother who throughout her career has run a ceramic studio and gallery in Little Italy, taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art, been a member of staff with Parade the Circle, and led many workshops. Currently, she runs Planet Joy, an art studio for adults with mental and physical differences in Medina, Ohio.

Lantern materials include plastic milk jugs, large plastic mayo jars from Tommy’s restaurant, sheer curtains, tissue paper, paint, swizzle sticks, costume jewelry, yarn, wire, split reed, and glitter.

ICK-thyology
Created by Eddie Olschansky

“The Trash Fish ‘ICK-thyology’ lantern is a big fish hung from an oversized fishing pole made mostly from plastic bottles and materials that were picked up by our volunteers while cleaning the Cuyahoga River by kayak. One side of our lantern glows in a rainbow of colors to represent the beautiful side of our river and juxtaposed by dirty, crusty, and green scales on the other,” said artist and creator Eddie Olschansky. Fish lantern from recycled materials

Eddie Olschansky runs Trash Fish, a river clean-up organization that takes volunteers out on kayaks to help remediate some of the thousands of pounds of garbage that flow through the Cuyahoga River before it can reach Lake Erie, the drinking water source for 12 million people. Last year Trash Fish removed nearly 10,000 pounds of waste from the river and surrounding areas!

Lantern materials include recycled wire hangers from laundromats and dry cleaners, plastic bottles and other litter removed from the Cuyahoga River on Trash Fish litter cleanups.

About the Towpath Trail Lantern Parade

The new Towpath Trail Lantern Parade is a celebration of light, creativity and sustainability welcoming spring to the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The first annual event will take place on March 12 at 6:30 PM. The parade will start and end at Sokolowski’s Overlook, near the Tremont Script Cleveland Sign, and include a 1.6 mile roundtrip along the Towpath Trail.

Registration for the parade is encouraged, but not required. Free parking will be available at 1429 Abbey Ave. Lanterns must be lit using battery-powered lights. Open flames will not be permitted. More information at canalwaypartners.com/lantern-parade.