Story and Photos by Caroline Hong
On Monday, Dec. 7, the Gold Coast Arts Center displayed the entries for the 7th Annual Recycled Artwork Contest. Among those who were present at the opening event award ceremony were North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, members of the Office of Sustainability and members of the town board.
For the project, students used recycled materials, from socks to bottle caps, to craft creations of both individual pieces and larger group pieces. All of the works exemplified the idea of Recycle, Reuse and Rethink, which was the thematic message of the exhibit. This year, every school district had at least one entry, and submissions to the contest ranged from the elementary, middle and high school levels with more than 1,000 student participants.
The entries recognized at the ceremony were awarded for environmental message, best use of recycled materials, creativity and best overall. Each of the four categories—elementary school, middle school, high school and group—also gave honorable mentions to various projects that earned recognition.
Among those recognized were many Great Neck winners: Juliana Hakakian of John F. Kennedy Elementary School won for Best Use of Recycled Materials for her piece, “Peels and Petals”; Sarah Hakakian of Great Neck North Middle School won for Creativity with “The Research of the Spooky Butterflies”; Talia Levy and Jin Ha Seo from South High for Environmental Message with their piece, “The Melting of the Polar Ice Caps”; Zhiming (Jay) Chen and Steven Chen of South High for Creativity with “Pop-Up Book”; Lior Cole of North High took Best Overall for “Pray for Peace”; and Lauren Reiss, Dylan Sanders, Jordyn Siegel and Shayna Zeitlin from South High took Honorable Mention for their piece, “Evolution of Pollution.”
In the group category, several schools were recognized for their group creations including the Lakeville Kindergartners at Parkville School, who won for Environmental Message for their piece, “Recycled Rainbow Fish”; North Middle sixth- and seventh-grade Art Club members won for Creativity for their “Cap Turtle”; Honorable Mentions were awarded to grades 1–5 at Lakeville School for “Lakeville’s Pearlescent Peacock”; and to grades 1–5 at E.M. Baker School for “Rainbow Color Spectrum.”
Art teachers who guided these students in their winning projects were Cliff Broffman and Monica Casazza, Lakeville; Tara Caviris and Kristin Kirleis, Baker; Linda Hasse Kane, Parkville; Kristin Kirleis, North Middle; and Lisa Stancati, South High.
Winning students were presented with certificates of recognition. However, the emphasis of the event was placed not on the awards but on the motivation behind this undertaking.
Bosworth said, “It is about having fun, learning and internalizing the values of recycling. We have got to protect our environment, we have got to protect our earth, and so our students have that opportunity to learn first-hand the importance of recycling.”
All submissions will be open to the public for viewing at the Town of North Hempstead’s Gold Coast Arts Center through Jan. 1.