Trash to treasure: VC students make recycled art
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Aluminum can be recycled an unlimited number of times.
If all newspapers were recycled, 250,000 trees could be saved each year.
Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
Source: City of Victoria scavenger hunt brochure
The front yard at the Nave Museum was taken over by soda cans, barbed wire and shredded magazines.
Across town, grocery bags, clothes hangers and bottle caps graced a tree in front of the Museum of the Coastal Bend.
It was trash turned treasure - recycled sculptures created by Victoria College's art fundamentals class.
The project was created in partnership with the city of Victoria's EcoAdventure along with the Nave Museum in celebration of Texas Recycles Day, which was Tuesday.
The idea was to make a six-foot-wide or -tall outdoor installation that would comment on the nature of society as consumers, according to the class professor, Debra Chronister.
For student Samantha Lumbrezer, 20, the project became as much private as it was public.
"All the water bottles came just from my house, and we still have a lot more," she said. "You don't realize how much you use until you sit there collecting it all."
Lumbrezer's "Little Bug, Big World" installation was chosen to stand in front of the Nave Museum. Inspired from a photo she took of a flower, her art featured an old bucket for a flower pot and soda cans gathered from a retreat. The shredded magazines inside plastic bottles make the pedals.
Whereas Lumbrezer spent a month collecting her art supplies, fellow art student Taylor Foster didn't have to work that long.
He took to collecting plastic grocery bags for his idea of creating "Charlotte's Web."
"As far as H-E-B bags go, we used a lot of those, which is kinda crazy," the 18-year-old said. "It just took a couple trips and (my mom) asking people at her work, and we had all the bags we needed."
Along with the web of almost 200 bags, Foster created a spider from a discarded umbrella and pig out of a five-gallon water jug.
Foster said he hopes his sculpture shows people how much would get thrown away if it weren't recycled.
That's right on board with the mission of the city's week-long EcoAdventure, said Marie Lester, environmental programs coordinator.
"The goal is to educate and inform the community about not just recycling but how to be more environmental. Even more than that, it's camaraderie in the community," Lester said.
This year's EcoAdventure is particularly important as the city tries to get residents excited about curbside recycling, which will roll out in February, Lester said.
The recycling will be single-stream, meaning, unlike art students, residents won't have to collect and sort through their recyclable trash.