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The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School

The Pony Express

Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest

Turning Trash into Art
Ms. Parkinson, Natalie Burns, Rachel McGinnity, Gracie Lewinski, & Aubrey Hunsinger.

Milton Wright art students participated in the Maryland Department of the Environment’s 2023 Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest. Led by art teacher Meredith Parkinson, the 3D art class created sculptures out of recycled materials which could be nominated by a panel of unbiased teachers to be entered in the contest. The projects of juniors Natalie Burns and Ava Criss, and seniors Aubrey Hunsinger, Gracie Lewinski, and Rachel McGinnity were all chosen.

The contest took place on the bottom floor of Montgomery Park in Baltimore, MD on November 17, 2023. The room was filled with long tables which held the projects of art students from high schools throughout the state. At the beginning of the time, there was a period to set up projects, visit the refreshment table, and admire the art. Eventually, judges began to make their rounds with clipboards in hand.  

The judges observed the artwork and asked the contestants questions about their projects, encouraging attention to both the environment and the arts through this program. There was a wide variety of sculptures present—different in size, shape, color, material, and artistic vision. The projects among CMW students were each creative in their own unique way, although they all had repurposed materials in common. 

Natalie Burns used paper, cardboard, and CDs to create CD Unicorn. Ava Criss combined cardboard and paper as she fashioned Stardust the Zenrath. Aubrey Hunsinger’s Trash Puppy was built with newspaper, cardboard, wire, and old lights. Gracie Lewinski recycled newspaper, beads, moss, paper, wire, and cardboard in the making of Hidden Mushroom Village. And Rachel McGinnity used cardboard, paper, plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic bottles, and egg cartons to make Plastic Ocean. 

 After a couple hours of enjoying the show, admiring the art, and mingling with the artists and teachers from other Maryland schools, the contest results were announced. Every participant received a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card, but the first and second place winners in each category won additional prizes. The five categories were: People’s Choice, Use of Materials, Creativity, and Workmanship, as well as an overall Grand Prize winner. 

The second-place winner in each category was awarded a one-hundred-dollar Amazon gift card and two tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium. The first-place category winners earned a pair of earbuds and two tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium. Although there could only be so many winners, that was not the point of the show. Its purpose was to spread awareness about the environment and to be a reminder of ways we can conserve it. This event was also a place to view and appreciate the art of others, ask questions, and meet new people. The Rethink Recycling Contest accomplished these goals, maintaining a positive atmosphere and spreading awareness of the beauty of the earth and ways we can preserve it.  


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