Making Art out of Recycled Materials

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium in Times Square is hosting a contest titled “Materials Matter Amazing Art Challenge” for New York City art students. The submissions for the contest are due in April and selected students will have their work exhibited at Ripley’s. A recent New York Times article highlighted one teacher’s creative interpretation of the prompt to develop works of art from unconventional materials.  Jennifer Merdjan, an art teacher at Bard High School Early College in Queens, is having her students make their submissions with recyclable materials.

By using this uniquely environmental spin, Ms. Merdjan’s students are presented with the opportunity to rethink waste products and develop novel approaches to reuse. Some of her students’ projects include a chandelier made from hamster tubes, a handbag sewn together with bicycle tire tubes, and even a dress made with 1,134 plastic straws!

Freshkills Park, built on the former Fresh Kills Landfill, can be thought of in the same vein.  As a repurposed landscape and a work of art,  Freshkills Park is a prime example of what can come from creative planning and restoration.

Image source: New York Times

Hamster Tube Chandelier (source: NYT)

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