By Annabel Paradise
For seven years now, the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning (ECDEP) has hosted a Rain Barrel Contest in which schools around the county participate in painting a rain barrel and submitting their artwork. This year, Williamsville East joined the list of forty schools to submit their interpretation of stormwater pollution prevention and recycling rainwater.
The various artists of Project Green, one of East’s environmental clubs, took the initiative to participate. Under the supervision and guidance of Mrs. Korn, the club’s advisor, student artists Nicole Xu, Nina Coscia, Sarah Gellman, Jacquie Keesee, and Annabel Paradise created and executed a design that won East third place in the high school division of the contest.
The piece, which featured a large beta fish in the ocean with the slogan “Save the water, save my home” inscribed in its tail, was unique due to its simplicity, yet meaningful impact. What was most interesting about this piece, however, is its inclusion of old CDs as the scales of the fish.
Appearing as though it was straight out of the book Rainbow Fish, the CDs add to the message on the importance of environmentalism, as garbage was reused to make a piece of art. Interestingly enough, there was a second contest occurring alongside the rain barrel contest, in which students were to create a sculpture from garbage. With East’s barrel including aspects from both competitions, it’s no wonder that the piece took third place.
The rain barrel was honored with a viewing display of all the winning artwork on Sunday, May 5th, and was followed with an award ceremony. The event took place at the Buffalo Science Museum, which hosted the display of student environmental artwork over the span of two weeks.
This event, as well as other events involving similar to it, are all part of Erie County’s efforts towards creating a more eco-friendly area. Project Green plans on being involved in future ECDEP events, including next year’s rain barrel contest.