BATON ROUGE, LA — The Talented Visual Arts students in Geeta Dave’s class got some good news from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans recently – an invitation to exhibit the students’ life-sized animal sculpture made completely from recycled materials. The invitation to the Glasgow Middle School students came from Director of Education Brenda Walkenhorst of the Audubon Institute.
Currently, the sculptures of animals, including one of a dolphin, are on display at the New Orleans zoo and will remain there until summer. In addition, four sculptures will be displayed at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans in November on America Recycles Day. They also will make an appearance at the Baton Rouge Zoo’s Zippity Zoo celebration in April, when more than 10,000 people visit, and will be at the local zoo during the summer.
One example of the sculptures, which were made completely from items recycled from the school’s cafeteria, is a giant porcupine. Posing with the porcupine sculpture are Talented Visual Arts students (left to right) Michelle Shin, Renee Desporte, Cindy Zhuang, Barsha Shrestha, Arthi Nandakumar, Nina Dicharry, Joshua Wang and Ian McLean. Sculptures ranged from 3 to 7 feet in length.
Last year, each day after lunch, Glasgow Middle arts students collected used sporks and cleaned them. About 600 sporks were collected each day. By December 2012, students had gathered about 36,000 used sporks. They then began experimenting using the different parts of the sporks to create animal sculptures. Projects began by building life-sized skeletons of the animals from recycled packing materials.
The purpose of the project was to create an awareness of the importance of recycling and preserving the environment.