Annual TrashedArt Contest returns to Mercer County Library

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During the month of April, the Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library will hold its annual TrashedArt Contest.

The contest is a way for the library to celebrate Earth Day with the community. It is a contest that displays art created from 75 percent of recycled material. Library officials have been organizing this event for 10 years.

“We wanted to promote Earth Day and recycling. We want people to create unique and beautiful things to rethink the usefulness of garbage,” reference librarian Julia Cuddahy said.

She said artwork received and selected fills the three display cases in the library and they will also have artwork hanging on the wall.

“It is a great way to showcase to the community what others are working on and to also know what artists are nearby,” Cuddahy said.

The library will start to accept artwork on March 20 and will continue through the 27th. Artwork that has been selected by library officials will displayed April 1.

“We work on this event all year long. We like to make certain people know we are having the contest and what the guidelines are,” she said.

The artwork must be original and no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. It can weigh no more that 25 pounds. The art must also have a minimum of 75 percent of recycled material. Examples of recycled content include metals, paper, rubber, plastic and cloth. Materials such as rocks, dirt, bones and sticks are not permitted because they are not recycled materials.

The library will try to include as many pieces of artwork that the branch can. Mercer County students in grades 7-12 can participate as well as adults.

Cuddahy said she has been amazed by the artwork displayed through the years. For example, she said last year’s first place winner in the adult category Linda DuBrow’s piece was one that stood out.

“She won for her Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. She used cardboard to make the Manhattan skyline and then painted it. It was just a beautiful piece,” she said.

As long as the interest continues the library will continue its contest to support and celebrate Earth Day with a display of recycled material turned into different works of art.

“I want people to takeaway that you can turn recycled material into beautiful pieces of artwork and see the skills of artists in the community,” Cuddahy said.

For more information, contact the Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County library at 609-883-8292 or Julia Cuddahy at [email protected].