Earth Week competitions bring out students' creativity

Release Date: 4/26/2012

During the week of April 15-21, University of the Ozarks celebrated the spirit of Earth Day with a series of events, all designed to raise awareness and environmental issues and promote stewardship of the earth. But three of the events were planned with something else in mind - to bring out the creative talents of the students who entered the competitions.

Recycled Art Contest

The first competition, a Recycled Art Contest, was intended to show the creative and sometimes unexpected uses of materials that might normally end up in the trash. Students were asked to take these types of materials and recycle them into a work of art. The results were some innovative and fun creations that were as beautiful as they were unique.

Recycled Art by Catalina Chen.

Catalina Chen received first place in the contest with her pickle jar "snow globe."

"I started folding origami cranes a few years ago, when one of my Korean friends taught me how," Chen said. "Ever since, I have been experimenting with different sizes and materials. For my project, I folded the cranes using magazines paper, scrap paper and even a candy wrapper. Then I strung them up with thread and taped them to the lid of the glass jar, making sure that they would hang at different heights. The bottom of the jar I covered with bits and scraps of things that I thought would represent a forest floor. I used tiny gray beads from a broken bracelet, curls of green paper, scraps of ribbon that I made into flowers and pieces of string that I made into monkey-fist knots. Then I screwed the lid into the jar and there it was, a little habitat for my origami cranes. I had a lot of fun making this project!"

"The delicate use of the materials placed into the pickle jar 'snow globe' creates an environment in which these tiny creatures exist," said Tammy Harrington, Ozarks Associate Professor of Art, who was a judge for the contest.

Second place in the contest went to Jessica Root, for her piece which gave an ocean wave effect while Estrella Perez and Stephanie Figueroa earned third place for their T-shirt neckwear piece.

Dr. Sharon Gorman, Walton Professor of Music, was also a judge in this year's Recycled Art contest.

Nature Photography Contest

For the second competition, students pulled out their cameras to snap some beautiful nature photographs. Around 160 photographs were submitted for the competition, which was also judged by Gorman and Harrington. "There were many talented photographers in this year's group and it was exceedingly difficult to narrow the field down to the few prize-winners," Gorman said. But in the end, it was Rafael Luna whose photograph earned first place.

Photo copyright 2012 Rafael Luna.

"The picture was taken in Erawan National Park, Thailand," Luna said. The setup was perfect - otherwise known as a Kodak moment." Luna darkened the edges of the photograph to emphasize the butterflies in the center, and adjusted the saturation to make the picture brighter. The result was a colorful, playful, and captivating image.

Photo copyright 2012 Rafael Luna.

Photo copyright 2012 Melody Cochran

Second place in the competition went to Melody Cochran for her interesting use of texture and color.

Photo copyright 2012 Melody Cochran.

Photo Copyright 2012 Matt Friant.

Matt Friant received third place for his close-up photograph of a tiny colorful toad.

Photo copyright 2012 Matt Friant.

Earning honorable mention in the contest were:

Photo copyright 2012 John Nix.

John Nix

Photo copyright 2012 John Nix.

Photo copyright 2012 Melody Teo.

Melody Teo

Photo copyright 2012 Melody Teo.

Photo copyright 2012 Mollie Palmer.

Mollie Palmer

Photo copyright 2012 Mollie Palmer.

Recycled Fashion Show

The third competition can only be described as one of the most unique fashion shows you could ever imagine.

The Recycled Fashion Show was an idea that OzARTs president Elizabeth di Paola brought to the professors in the Ozarks Art department. The fashion show featured twelve one-of-a-kind outfits created from recycled or re-purposed materials, including newspaper, plastic grocery bags, garbage bags, and soda bottles to name just a few.

Read more about the show, at Paper, or Plastic? "Both!" said the designers.