Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014
Students at Buena Vista Elementary created an artwork made out of bottle caps in honor of Earth Day and America Recycles Day. PTA recycling chairs, Aerin Brownlee and Michelle Willis, came up with the idea to create bottle cap artwork, and art teacher, Grace Reynolds chose to use Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” as the inspiration. Lowes donated the three 4x8 particle board panels and 10 tubes of adhesive.
The motive for making the mural was to create a large artwork for display at Buena Vista Elementary that all students in the school participated in while encouraging students to start “thinking green.” Working together on the mural was also an excellent opportunity for students to practice 21st Century skills such as creativity and collaboration. Piecing together the different sized bottle caps was similar to solving a puzzle, and figuring out how to arrange the bottle caps to look like brush strokes required creative thinking.
In the weeks leading up to the bottle cap project, students learned about Vincent Van Gogh, his life, and his artwork, and some grade levels created paintings in his style. Miss Reynolds began the mural by painting the basic outlines of the shapes in “Starry Night” on the three particle board panels. Students in some of the 4th and 5th grade classes participated in painting the shapes and the background. After the shapes and background were filled in with solid colors, Miss Reynolds added in some details and brushstrokes of different colors to imitate Van Gogh’s style.
Next, the bottle cap gluing began. Small groups of students worked on gluing the caps, with guidance from the art teacher and parent volunteers. Some bottle caps were spray painted by Ms. Reynolds to add more color variety. After a week and a half of nonstop bottle cap gluing, the mosaic is finally finished and ready to be displayed in the school’s atrium or related arts hallway.
This 12 by 8 ft. mural communicates Buena Vista Elementary’s love for visual art and recycling. Maybe it will even inspire other people to use recycled materials for artwork.