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Junk to some, art to others
Pasco high school students take recycling to a different level, making art from used materials.
By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN, Arts & Entertainment
Published January 29, 2008
We Wheel Recycle by Zephyrhills High's Johanna Schaper is part of the "Art of Recycling" exhibit.
[Stephen J. Coddington | Times]
[Stephen J. Coddington | Times]
New Species Discovered! Makair Recyclus by Kristen Chavez of Ridgewood High uses soda tabs to create a fishlike work.
Visitors to the West Pasco Government Center usually breeze through the large front lobby without a pause. After all, most of them are there to vote, get a building permit or renew an auto license tag, and there's usually nothing to see in the lobby anyway.
Not right now, though. Until Feb. 21, the lobby just might be the most interesting room in the building.
That's because the best of the 107 entries in the annual Pasco high schools' "Art of Recycling" contest are hanging on the walls and from the ceiling, placed on the floor, perched on pedestals or sitting on tables, each vying for the attention of passersby.
"Art of Recycling" asks Pasco County high school students to create artworks using at least 70 percent discarded or used materials: soft drink cans, candy wrappers, newspapers, lumber, pop-top rings, wire, fencing - you name it, it's there.
The entrants are not only learning about recycling, they're vying for more than $2,000 in cash awards, including the $200 People's Choice Award to be chosen on awards night, Feb. 6, as well as a $1,000 art scholarship for one graduating senior who plans to pursue an art or environmental degree.
"This is one of our favorite projects to co-sponsor because it gets the kids and teachers excited about creative design and solutions, as well as the environmental theme of recycling," said Ann Larsen, executive director of Pasco Arts Council, which, with the District School Board, Pasco County Facilities/Utilities Departments and several corporate sponsors, organizes and underwrites the show.
"The entries this year were wonderful and represent the creative minds of our future leaders," Larsen said.
Entries came from 10 high schools: Bishop McLaughlin, Genesis Preparatory, Land O'Lakes, J.W. Mitchell, Pasco, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills.
Some are whimsical, like Zephyrhills High student Sarah Hinkle's "Roller Coaster of Recycling," with cross ties made of soda straws, cars made from Coke cans and pipe cleaner passengers.
Others meld message with medium, like Ridgewood High student Sara Karsten, who covered a mannequin head with cigarette butts and titled it, "Don't Be a Butthead: Recycle."
Pasco High School's Angie Rodriguez built a silver cardboard guitar out of the curving letters "recycle" and made the guitar head in the shape of the three recycling arrows, then called it "Rewarding Effort."
Pasco High classmates Samantha Henry and Audrey Gilmore built a paper mache giraffe; Genesis Prep student Jess Zuban created "Disposable Trash Can"; and Genesis student David Brooks built a miniature White House and suggested "Let's Make the White House Green!"
Ridgewood student Anthony Prestigiac made a toy, "The Little Engine That Could," from discarded cans, pieces of metal, wire, and other found objects.
Winning entries will be exhibited at the District School Board office in Land O'Lakes from Feb. 25 to March 20.
If you go:
Art of throwaways
What: Pasco Art of Recycling.
Where: Lobby of West Pasco Government Center, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey.
When: Through Feb. 21. Awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 in County Commission chambers.