Recycled art helps feed homeless

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Robots, sharks and bugs that shoot out lawn clippings greet visitors from Alexi Devilliers’ front lawn in Tempe.

Devilliers makes the creatures out of recycled tin cans and other materials. He sells his art at First Fridays on Roosevelt Row in Phoenix as well as at Method Art Gallery in Scottsdale.

Instead of pocketing the profits, he uses them to purchase ingredients for meals he then donates to people who are homeless.

Every Saturday for the past four years, Devilliers has awakened at 4 a.m. to begin cooking about 100 meals.

He works closely with Justa Center, a day-resource center in Phoenix for men and women ages 55 and older. It helps clients find housing, employment and medical assistance.

Once Devilliers’ finishes cooking and boxing the meals, he loads them into his van and delivers them to the center. The center then distributes the meals to individuals for lunch.

His efforts began when Devilliers had some extra money and decided to help people in the community, he said.

Devilliers and wife Denise began cooking meals and donating to individuals in the community. He saved the tin cans from the food.

“They go into landfills, so I was like, man, let me see what I can do with these,” he said.

After awhile, he stuck two cans together and saw the potential, he said.

He has created dogs and a saw fish made out of a working tree trimmer. He has even used Barbie heads to make bionic robots.

An average robot takes three to six hours to complete, which includes the time spent scavenging for parts — sometimes at Goodwill, sometimes in dumpsters.

“Anything I can use, I use. Someone will buy it eventually,” he laughed.

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