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Students make art for earth's sake in contest

The third annual Art of Recycling 2000 contest gave student artists a chance to win money and encourage recycling.

An ant made from old Mercedes-Benz automobile parts and a row of jagged glass plates with paint smeared on them saying "smog, nuclear waste, hole in the ozone, acid and melting ice caps" won $500 each for two Pasco County students in the third annual Art of Recycling 2000 contest. Entries are on exhibit through Feb. 25 at the Pasco Government Center.

Pasco-Hernando Community College student Tanya Hester's Anti-Litterbug and Ridgewood High School student Meaghan Kelly's disturbing glass work, Earth, won first place in the college and high school divisions, respectively. Twenty other students divided $3,000 in other categories.

The contest asked students to create an environmentally themed artwork using at least 70 percent recycled materials. As long as the creations aren't toxic, obscene or too big to carry through the door, anything goes.

"We got fewer entries this year, but we seem to have gotten better quality entries," said Mary Miller, the recycling coordinator for the Pasco County School Board, co-sponsors of the contest.

That's because several college and high school art teachers made the contest a class project, then let the students critique the entries and choose the top ones to place in the competition, Miller said. In previous years, all creations automatically were entered. The competition was open to students at Pasco schools and residents of Pasco who attend school outside the county.

Miller, the former coordinator of Hillsborough County's recycling task force, started the contest three years ago to encourage students to think creatively about reusing discarded items and to make them aware of the problems caused by the increasing amount of refuse. The first year, only two schools participated. Last year, students from seven schools entered. This year, 78 students from eight schools made the final cut. Of those, 22 won prizes.

The contest's only repeat winner was David Gulizio, of Pasco-Hernando Community College, whose depiction of a black angel of death leading an assault of tanks, cars, rockets and chemicals on a green, pristine patch of land, The Price of Progress, won the college division's People's Choice award, good for $200, and took $100 in Best Art category. In 1999, Gulizio won second place in the high school division for his scene of a knight battling a dragon, Protect the Environment. Gulizio also won first place in the county-wide student competition, 1999 ArtBeat, held at the Pasco Art Center and was a merit winner in the 1999 U.S. Congressional Art Competition.

The high school division People's Choice award and $200 went to Ruth Ducko of Ridgewood High School. Her entry _ Reconstruction of Mother Earth _ was a life-sized figure of a woman made out of blue recycling bags and filled with empty aluminum soft drink cans, with hair made out of cut and curled soft drink cans.

This year's theme was "Honor the Past _ Imagine the Future," the motto of the nationwide Millennium Celebration. The entries were judged on how well they reflected this theme, as well as on execution. Some won awards in special categories.

Other winners

College division

Besides Ms. Hester, other college division winners were Cathy Dodson, PHCC, second place, $300, Millennium Bug; Rick Bierworth, PHCC, third place, $150, Pollution Stinks Recycle!; Teri Olmstead, PHCC, Best Use of Newspaper, $250, Bag It, Lady; Curtis Snyder, PHCC, Best Environmental Concept, $100, Recycling Think About It!; Ashlie Stubitsch, St. Petersburg Junior College, Best Use of Material, $100, Living in a Mechanical World; David Gulizio, PHCC, Best Art, $100, The Price of Progress; Cathy Dodson, PHCC, Millennium Award, $100, Millennium Bug; Brett Carnahan, PHCC, Commissioners' Award, $100, A New Dawn of Peace; J.A. Boyko, PHCC, Recycling Award, $100, Flower Power; and David Gulizio, PHCC, People's Choice, $200, The Price of Progress.

High school division

Other high school division winners were: Jonathan Carter, Ridgewood High School, second place, $300, Wasting Away in Waste; William Wolfe, RHS, third, $150, The Buzz About Bees; Meghan Abbey, Genesis School, Best Use of Newspaper, $250, You're a Good Man Charles Schulz; Haylee Marshburn, Pasco High School, Best Environmental Concept, $100, Pasco County Past & Present; Ruth Ducko, RHS, Best Use of Material, $100, Reconstruction of Mother Earth; James Mooneyham, Zephyrhills High School, Best Art, $100, Save the Waters; Geneva Black, ZHS, Millennium Award, $100, Forever Nurture Me; Misty Roe, River Ridge High School/Marchman Technical Education Center, Commissioners' Award, $100, Tree of Life; Janae Corrado, PHS, Recycling Award, $100, Still Crane; and Ruth Ducko, RHS, People's Choice, $200, Reconstruction of Mother Earth.