Artist Dan Phillips hopes to change the lives of low-income families by bringing new life to trash.
He takes discarded items — empty cans, license plates, bottle caps — and adds them to overstock high-end materials like fancy tile and marble to create livable structures.
Phillips has worked in a variety of careers, including teaching modern dance, traveling with a carnival, co-owning an antiques shop and driving a taxi. But it’s the organization he founded, Phoenix Commotion, that’s been a constant over the last 15 years.
That’s where Phoenix Commotion steps in, to salvage dilapidated structures with materials that some would consider “trash.”
“All these houses are built from between 70 and 80 percent recycled material,” Phillips says. “It seems picky to be throwing materials away when you have these families that would do anything to own a house.”
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