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Orland Park students rethink trash

Dallas Artis eighth grade paraprofessional Karen Torbik work his butterfly creatimade from compact discs cohangers part an art contest village

Dallas Artis, eighth grade, and paraprofessional Karen Torbik work on his butterfly creation made from compact discs and coat hangers part of an art contest the village is sponsoring where students create works of art from discarded, recyclable material a

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Updated: May 23, 2013 6:02AM



At Orland Park’s Century Junior High School, discarded computer floppy discs and outdated magazines are getting new life in teacher Sue Berry’s art classes.

They’re the ingredients for art projects being created by students as part of the Orland Park recreation department’s “Rethink, Recycle, Recreate” contest.

Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students at Century, Jerling and Orland junior highs are participating in “upcycling,” taking recyclable materials and fashioning them into artwork. The contest is part of the village’s Smart Living initiative and is being held in conjunction with Earth Day activities.

Ten entries from each grade level, or 90 total, will be judged by the village’s arts commission, with two winners ultimately being picked from each grade level.

All the entries will be displayed from April 22-27 at the village’s Cultural Arts Center, 14760 Park Lane, and the winners will be shown at village hall from April 29 through May 3.

“The (village’s) recreation department wanted to look at different ways to celebrate Earth Day,” Joe La Margo, the village’s public information officer, said of the contest’s origin.

Berry teaches six art classes a day at Century, or in the neighborhood of 180 students, and they’re all at work on submissions for the contest. Last week, she winnowed the students’ handiwork down to 30, which she admits wasn’t easy.

She said other teachers at Century donated material for students to work with, and the school’s library contributed a box of black computer floppy discs, which one student used to build a replica of Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago.

“I said anything goes, anything that could be recycled” could be used, Berry said.

She said she ripped pages of wallpaper from a sample book and laid out magazines for students to clip from.

“Lots of kids brought stuff from home,” Berry said. “I showed them a PowerPoint (display of recycled art) to get them rolling.”

Students also watched a video of recycled artwork, which gave Lexi Pietsch an idea.

“In the video it was just regular paper scraps (glued to paper), and I thought it would be interesting to use wallpaper scraps,” the eighth-grader said.

For her entry, Sydney Rastrullo wanted a variation of the Yin-Yang symbol of Eastern philosophy. In most instances it’s shown with a black half and white half, “but I wanted colors instead of black and white,” Rastrullo, an eighth-grade student of Berry, said.

She opted to use colored tissue paper and black and white buttons as well as rays radiating from the circle to create a sun-like look.

Joseph Jaeger glued folded scraps of colored paper to another sheet of paper to make an abstract creation. The eighth grader said he didn’t start assembling his entry with a particular design in mind.

“I’m kind of making it up as I go along,” he said.

Dallas Draus said he always has a sketch pad with him, and one day during lunch at school drew a dragonfly. He modified it a bit — it has morphed into a butterfly — using a gift wrap tube for the body and wire hangars and compact discs for the wings.



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