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.

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“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.”

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