Archive for the 'Biography' Category

#Mastrangelo’s Environmental Action #Earth Care: Part Two (Earth Day is Every Day).

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Art and Community Involvement focus on Caring for Our Planet Earth. This is the Second in a three part series on EARTH CARE.

Bobbi Mastrangelo’s dream of a cleaner town started in the late 1980’s. Her manhole art caused her to notice the condition of streets and sidewalks. What could she do about the litter in her quaint little town?

"You Can Make a Difference" by Earl Babbie

“You Can Make a Difference” by Earl Babbie

A friend advised her to read Earl Babbie’s Book: You Can Make a Difference.

“It tells how individuals started movements for change, or solved civic problems,” she explained.

In May of 1986, Bobbi called together Town Board Members, Highway Dept Officials, Scouts, News Reporters and Friends wanting to see a neater town. A reporter named them: C.L.E.A.N. (Committee for Litter Elimination and Neatness).

 CLEAN Logo Beth Ann Magnuson designed C.L.E.A.N.’s logo with crossed brooms and three flower symbols underneath.

  Bobbi Mastrangelo as CLEAN Bear

White Bear became the mascot. Cartoons depicted a white bear sweeping and cleaning the town. During one Parade, Bobbi Mastrangelo donned the CLEAN Bear Costume, rode the Highway Truck and waved to all the crowd.

Girl Scouts, other Civic Groups and individuals adopted and beautified local areas, town parks, Their Post Office Grounds and the St. James RR Station.

Bobbi Mastrangelo chose the King Kullen Supermarket Area and parking lot, the local litter magnet, for her Adopt-A-Spot.

"Don't Litter" Poster

“Don’t Litter” Poster

Children’s posters were hung at the Supermarket registers urging everyone to keep their town clean and beautiful.

When the King Kullen Manager spied her, he would run out waving a large broom and grin:

“OK Bobbi we are cleaning up!”

CLEAN initiated annual clean-ups and sponsored coloring contests for children. Its members painted the logo on colorful vinyl trash barrels. They were donated to the Smithtown Highway Department and put out for parades and public events. 

Bobbi’s Manhole Art appealed to the Employees of The Smithtown Township Highway Department.  They explained street markings to her and actually showed her the chimney support below a manhole cover. The Highway Department worked together with CLEAN Volunteers for Town Clean-ups and put out the Decorated CLEAN Trash Barrels along parade routes.
 "Paul Harris Fellow Medallion"
“Paul Harris Fellow Medallion”
 Bobbi’s Environmental Art and  CLEAN Initiative caught the attention of the local towns folk. Smithtown Rotary awarded Bobbi “The Paul Harris Fellow for Achievement in Arts and The Environment.”  

“For her relentless effort to keep things clean in the Town of Smithtown and for the work she inspired other to do, The St. James Times recognized Bobbi Mastrangelo as Woman of the Year in Civic Affairs” in their January 5, 1989 Edition.

Bobbi felt that the award should be shared with all the dedicated volunteers who adopted spots and worked on local litter clean-ups.

RJK Gardens Adopt-A-Spot
RJK Gardens Adopt-A-Spot

For over a decade The CLEAN Committee was very active. Bobbi has since relocated to Florida, but she is gratified to know of one Adopt-A-Spot that is still being maintained: Richie Kuri of RJK Gardens keeps the grass mowed and flowers planted at his Adopt-A Spot adjacent to King Kullen. (Note the blooming Irises.)

Here is a poem about the CLEAN Group and Their Activities:


 If anyone participated in CLEAN or knows of more active ADOPT-A-Spots, please add your comments or send photos.  Thanks!

#Mastrangelo’s Environmental Art #Earth Care: Part One (Earth Day is Every Day).

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Art and Community Involvement focus on Caring for Our Planet Earth. This is the First Blog in a three part series on EARTH CARE.

"When the People Care"
“When the People Care”

Why would anyone want to incorporate litter into an art work? When Bobbi Mastrangelo began her manhole cover art theme, she used to sweep the litter off the manhole covers before taking photos or doing rubbings. Well, the truth is that adding litter called attention to the treatment of our streets and our Planet Earth. So she composed this poem and embossed it into her hand made paper.

By now, you probably know that Mastrangelo’s art theme is based on Manhole Covers, Water Covers, Grates and Drains. Not only does her art document the visual history of our streets, but it carries an Environmental Message as well: To Conserve and Protect Our Precious Resources.

She created a walk around assemblage: “People Start Pollution: People Can Stop It.”

People Start Pollution

People Start Pollution

Part One: Cigarette Butt Litter. Cigarette butts are being dumped from a car ash tray.

Cigarette butts are actually cellulose acetate, which is man made and doesn’t biodegrade. Light weight butts easily get caught up in runoff from storms. Tons of butts land in open spaces posing a health problem for birds and other wildlife for up to 12 years. The cumulative effect of these toxic chemicals can pollute water.

Medical Waste PollutionMedical Waste Pollution

Part Two: Simulated Medical Waste.

Mastrangelo used port wine and catsup to simulate the dried blood, but the waste looked so convincing that a mother pulled her son away from the assemblage, scolding:. “Don’t touch that! You will get a disease!” 

People Stop Pollution: Clean, Paint & Plant Part Three: People Can Stop Pollution. They will clean littered areas or better yet provide waste cans, paint and plant to improve environments. The Keep America Beautiful Symbol is displayed on the waste can. Water Valve Covers are incorporated in the bases of One and Three. 
Pollution Solution


Mastrangelo also expressed concerns with conserving water in her sculptures and works on hand made papers. Ten of her “Water Cover” works are featured on the website of WEAD (Women Environmental Artists Directory). Her “Grate works of Art” have been exhibited in many important venues from Water Authorities in NY State to Florida, The New York Hall of Science, “Listen to the Earth” at Hamilton College and “Best of the Best” at the Mayor’s Gallery City Hall, Orlando in 2014.  

Bobbi Mastrangelo has garnered many prizes for her art, but she is especially proud to have been one of the eleven finalists for the  first-ever Environmental Art Prize sponsored by the NRDC National Resources Defense Council for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Earth Day.

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