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Students turning trash into creative treasures

Students at Patrick Hamilton Elementary School are learning an important lesson, that one man's trash is indeed another person's treasure.

For about a month, students have been working on a project called Funky Junk Art. It is one of the schools biggest projects. Each student took recycled trash and made it into a work of art. Some students created bugs, creatures, or robots.

“We really tried to talk to them a lot about the world around them and how they have the power to make good out of it," said Art Teacher Ashley Hamlet.

The students have learned how to use paper-mache, water-based varnish, and liquid nails, but the most important lesson may be that of recycling.

“Your stuff and your trash you can make time out of and make beautiful treasures out of. It should not go in a big pile just to collect,” Hamlet added.

“It’s good for the earth and you can make really cool projects with it,” said 1st Grade Student Aurora Depoy.

Hamlet hopes that this project will inspire students to recycle in the future.

“Every time I came home from art class my mom and I was like ‘we should really start recycling because it’s really healthy for the earth.’ She’s like ‘I know it is, I know it is,’” said 4th Grader Gabby Dalenberg.

The artwork is part of the 25th anniversary Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival. The festival showcases fine arts and artists in the Southwestern Michigan area.

Artwork by the students is available for the public to see until May 15th. The artwork is displayed in the Patrick Hamilton Garden and Kincheloe Garden in Dowagiac.

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