Recycled Plastics Sprout as a Garden

Art students at Half Hollow Hills East planted a garden Monday at Half Hollow Hills East, adding color to an otherwise dreary season.

Students in the AP art history class taught by Allyson Uttendorfer took about 2,000 plastic water bottles and\ turned them into flowers, cutting and painting the plastic and then planting them along a walk leading into the school. 

The teacher said that installing an art project every year at the school has an impact on the school. Art students worked with the school’s Sustainability Club, and others, to get the word out about the need for plastics for the project and to help paint once they were collected. “Art is just so important here,” she said of the district. 

Students Nicholas Likos, Grace Bleck and Samantha Rosenberg led the project.  “We got a lot of support from the district,” Nicholas said, and the community.

“The school will remember this,” Samantha said, noting that the concept was similar to the Christos’ art project, “The Gates,”  a series of saffron-colored fabrics that lined 23 miles of pathways in Central Park in New York City in 2005, and from Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds.”

Grace said the colors represent sunrise and sunset, with gradations of color and alluding to the passage of time.

The plastic pieces will be recycled when they’re finished their lives as flowers. 

“A lot of the work was trial and error,” Nicholas said, as students learned the most efficient ways of cutting plastics and applying colors. 

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