By Amanda Hatfield
INDIALANTIC -- A group of 18 elementary students have given an entirely new meaning to the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle."
Lead by art teacher Leann Arnett, Indialantic Elementary art students created "Our Towers," constructed to resemble the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, Calif.
"Inspiration can be found in many places and take make forms. The inspiration for our cooperative group recycling project came [from] all the way across the U.S.A.," Ms. Arnett said.
Using glass bottles, broken tile and glass, sea glass, shells, bits of foam, bottle caps, paper towel rolls and even more odds-and-ends, the students constructed replicas of the historic towers.
Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant, spent 33 years constructing the famous landmark. Using a collection as diverse as the students, who were inspired by him, Rodia completed the towers with no formal training.
"The children were immediately taken with his inspirational story and had little trouble brainstorming countless ways to create our town towers using recyclable materials," Ms. Arnett added.
The "Our Towers" project was recently recognized this month at the South Area Art and Science Fair at the Melbourne Auditorium in the "Most Creative Use of Recyclable Materials" in the Environmental category.
"The sculpture ties into Earth Day by focusing on the three R's: 'reduce, reuse, recycle,'" Ms. Arnett said. "For Youth Art Month, we have taken a national treasure and used that as inspiration for our group project -- it's a great way to celebrate the arts!"
After all their hard work, the students were overjoyed to be honored for their efforts.
"All the children went on stage to receive the award for our school," Ms. Arnett said. "We are thrilled!"
"Our Towers" will be on display at the Off Center Art Center Gallery on Monday, April 1. Off Center Art Center is located at 559 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne. For more information, call (321) 610-7116.
The Indialantic Elementary students include kindergarteners Luke Meister and Jackson Poirier, first-graders Sebastian Ryan and Ella Nescio, second-graders Sammy Ruggiano and Nicholas Deschenes, third-graders Gabe Brown and Mackenzie Hall, fourth-graders Brook Cohen and Jane Theofiledes, fifth-graders Owen McGinty and Marlie Brown, and sixth-graders Summer Gayden, Callie Gentry, William Gilbert and Keegan Riley.
Indialantic Elementary is located at 1050 N. Palm Ave., Indialantic.