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Recycled art competition continues to pique interest of art fair attendees

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 20, 2018

 Shelby Township teen Hannah Blank took first place  in the teen category of the recycled art competition at the Shelby Township Art Fair. Her piece was a 3D representation of the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center.

Shelby Township teen Hannah Blank took first place in the teen category of the recycled art competition at the Shelby Township Art Fair. Her piece was a 3D representation of the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center.

Photo provided by Marsha Livermore

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Solid Waste and Recycling Committee’s recycled art competition continues to grow in popularity at the annual Shelby Township Art Fair, with more than 1,200 votes being cast this year in four categories.

The Shelby Township Art Fair took place Aug. 11 and 12 on the municipal grounds, with more than 100 artists showing their work or even creating art on-site. The artists came from local communities or neighboring states.

But the recycled art competition asks Shelby Township residents to use materials and products that maybe would have ended up in a landfill and create a piece of art with them. The competition has adult, teen, youth and school categories.

The total number of votes was about double the total from two years ago, and around 200 more votes than last year’s competition.

“This gives people a chance to express creativity and, at the same time, to be very thoughtful and thinking about recycling,” said Marietta Crabtree, former Recycling Committee chair and organizer of the competition. “We do this to generate more interest in recycling and get people being more thoughtful and involved through this activity.”

Julie Auten won first place in the adult category with a picture of the state of Michigan made with screws. Hannah Blank won the teen category with a 3D wildlife display that was a tribute to JoAnn Burgess and the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center.

In the youth category, Justin Poink took first with a Statue of Liberty display made of household recyclable materials. And in the school category, the Morgan Elementary sixth-grade art class won with a friendship- and fellowship-inspired color design.

In the individual categories, the winners took home a prize of $75, second place won $50, third place won $25, fourth place won $15 and fifth place won $10. In the school category, Morgan Elementary won $200 for first place.

Crabtree said it was good to see the inspiration that people found for their art, including Blank and her inspiration from Burgess, who died in June.

“Hannah had a gorgeous, three-dimensional display of part of the nature center, and she is donating her first-prize money to the nature center in honor of JoAnn Burgess,” Crabtree said. “This was a teen so impressed by JoAnn, and the center helped her develop a love of nature. I believe the piece will be on display at the nature center as well.”

Shelby Township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm, who is the Recycling Committee board liaison, said there were about 20 entries this year and she heard from people throughout the event who were inspired to do their own recycled art at home.

Whether it is a bird feeder or a mobile, Wilhelm said people should continue to make use of everyday items and not just throw them away.

“I really think in Shelby we are really conscious about recycling and utilizing materials for other purposes,” Wilhelm said. “Don’t just throw things away in the garbage, but think of ways to repurpose it and ways to use it. It is about taking care of your civic duty and supporting the environment.”

During the fair, Crabtree said, committee members handed out literature about recycling, including about the electronic recycling event coming up in October. They also gave out information on recycling hazardous waste throughout the year.

Because anyone can participate and anyone can vote, Crabtree thinks the competition will continue to be a success each year during the art fair.

“Whether you are 6 years old or 66, everyone gets to vote, so this is a great activity for families,” Crabtree said. “It was really neat to see families with kids come, and the kids, independently of their parents, voted. They took the time and put in the thought to make a good decision.”

For more information on the Shelby Township Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, visit