Getting crafty during quarantine? During the last two weeks of April, UVA Sustainability student employees hosted the Waste Reimagined art competition. The competition encouraged students to think differently about the waste around them; participants had to use recycled, repurposed or forgotten items as a main component of their piece. See some of our top submissions below:

Mixed media art with cardboard, string, and plastic in the shape of hands and a skull
Chloe Hellerman took the first-place prize with her cardboard and plastic bag creation. She said: “I have long been frustrated by the widespread reliance on single use plastic and the depth of its entanglement in modern society. Plastic packaging has become socially and culturally ingrained, integral to the consumer experience. Even after making the choice to avoid it, I fail often. My goal in creating this piece was to counteract my feelings of powerlessness when it comes to addressing the larger issue at hand. The background shape represents the broken life “cycle” of a plastic product, from manufacture, to its peak single use, to its slow degradation. I wanted to capture the idea of a removed consciousness, in that many choose to look away from the problem or struggle to see the long-term consequences of their consumption patterns. Even once you become aware of the problem, it’s difficult to identify its origin or a clear path for positive change. At this stage, our plastic dependence feels like fate, as though it is out of our hands.”
Scrap metal and parts of watches make up a human-like face
Victoria Van Dixhoorn used small metal scraps and old watches in her piece.
A drawing with plastic trash, plants, and birds
Daria Gundermann drew single-use plastics in conjunction with nature.
Old plastic containers, cardboard, and gold paint create art from trash
Lauren Budreau used old Costco containers and cardboard in her creation.
A plastic milk jug with a glass bottle upside down, filled with birdseed and automatically refills bird food.
Madison Oxford created a self-refilling bird feeder out of an old milk jug and a Bold Rock bottle.

Thank you to all participants and stay tuned for our next eco-art competition!