At one junior high school, art education shines with decorations made of recycled plastic.
At Wylie Junior High, there is a new meaning to the description of plastic Christmas trees. Art teacher Hollie Garza worked for four days with six classes of students building a Christmas tree that was entirely made from recycled plastic bottles.
Garza was inspired by a glass sculpture. She and the students cut the bottles and spun them in cone shapes after coloring them green. They resembled branches of a fir tree.
But the tree wasn’t the whole project. It needed Christmas decorations. So they used another plastic that was available at school, and no longer necessary.
“We took those old transparencies, that used to be used for overhead projectors, and made the holders for the lights (and the tree topper),” Garza said. “We had a ton of those transparencies lying around and we don’t use them.”
The tree was finished just before Thanksgiving break. It is decorative and also will be a source of funding for art classes. The Christmas tree will be auctioned during the coming week through an auction on the Wylie Growl Facebook page. Bidding will begin at $125.
Not only did students enjoy making the tree, they found that items classified as trash could be turned into art, and not just discarded. “It helped change the way I was looking at stuff,” said 13 year old Colton Cogburn. “It’s not just trash anymore. I see it as different things, now. It’s possible art.”