Texas Tech University

Art Competition Inspires Recycling

Zoe Bell

April 29, 2015

“Be Creative” was designed to bring awareness about sustainability on campus.

Recycled Art

Texas Tech University and University Student Housing hosted “Be Creative,” a recycled art contest, April 22 in the Student Union Building Ballroom to encourage students to participate in sustainability efforts.

There were 38 art entries submitted for the competition. Each entry was made from at least 75 percent recyclable material and its size couldn't exceed 24 inches by 36 inches. The form of art was left up to participants. Students, student organizations, staff and faculty entered.

“We were very excited about the number of entries and even more excited about the number of people who came by to look at the art and vote,” Melanie Tatum, unit assistant director of Sustainability and Warehouse Operations, said. “We had more than 200 people vote. We hope to continue this event and hope it grows every year.”

  • Jenise Wooten, University Student Housing, “Birds of a Feather”, first place
  • Heather Johnson, student, “Cross”, first place
  • Bryce Looney, National Wind Institute, “Seeds of Plastic”, second place
  • Victoria Kahn-Salinas, student, “I Want to be Normal”, third place
  • Per Emil Svare and Taylor Neigut, students, “WALL-E” (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), fourth place

Prizes included $20, $15 and $10 Barnes & Noble gift cards.

Entrants will display and sell their art at Tornado Gallery during the First Friday Art Trail Friday (May 1). Tornado Gallery is located at 1822 Buddy Holly Ave.

“The idea was to show there are uses for items often considered nothing more than trash,” Tatum said. “This event allowed people to show their creative side and at the same time be sustainable.”

Barbra Beller, a buyer for the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, submitted homemade recycled earrings and collages into the competition.

“I am an avid recycler so all of my artwork always incorporates either repurposed or reclaimed products,” Beller said. “I made two collages from dictionary pages that I hand-dyed with fruits and vegetables. I made a pair of earrings out of aluminum cans. Also, any artist who buys a canvas gets these wooden wedges that we never know what to do with. Well, I made those into earrings, too.”

Beller is from Lubbock and is excited to sell her earrings at the upcoming First Friday Art Trail.

“I display other places but Tornado Gallery seems to be my home base,” she said.

The Texas Tech recycling station accepts paper, cardboard, beverage containers, plastics, styrofoam, ink cartridges, batteries, toner cartridges, chemicals, lab glass, computer and other electronics. Paper, plastic and beverage container recycling bins are located in all residence halls. There also is a 24-hour recycling station located behind Housing Services. There are direction signs located at the Physical Plant parking lot entrances off of Main and Flint and Main and Hartford.

This event was sponsored by the Texas Tech Student Government Association, Barnes & Noble and University Student Housing.