Junk to Funk fundraiser offers treasure made from trash

Rachel Dorough (left) and Jordan Beckenbach (right) hold candle holders made out of soda cans. (Photos by Nick Foote)

Anyone can toss a plastic bottle or crinkled paper ball into a recycling bin.

Why not take it a step further?

The Introduction to Art Education class in the art department has been working on a semester long project that culminates with the First Friday Junk to Funk fundraiser, where students will sell functional art made of recycled materials. 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards Kid’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing nutritional meals to children at no cost.

“Throughout the semester, we have been developing seven to eight different products – magazine-paper-bead earrings, T-shirt scarves, gift bows from magazine paper, aluminum can snow flakes. This is just half of them,” Herminia Din, associate professor of art education, said.

Students have developed lesson plans and have taught each other how to create the assortment of functional art to sell. The creations are just one part of the process.

“They have to experience every single detail from the production to the set up and the marketing, promotion, documentations and Facebook, that kind of thing,” Din said.

The class has gained experience outside of the classroom as well. They recently set up a table in Rasmuson Hall and taught students how to make candle holders out of soda-pop cans along side the sustainability group who brought awareness to campus about how much garbage UAA produces. The class also helped clean up the garbage that was on display in the Cuddy Quad to show how much garbage is produced daily.

Tanya Hryhoryeva models earrings made out of magazine paper. (Photo by Crystal Tinglook)
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“My favorite part of the course would be that I get to work together with my peers and get to put together an art show that benefits our local community and raises awareness for recycling,” art major Tanya Hryhoryeva said.

Aside from the collective items produced in class, each student has been creating their unique functional art pieces to sell.

“I’m making a lamp using mostly recycling material, out of can tabs,” art major, Hilary Kjerland said.

Din said the class is still working on prices for each piece of functional art, and she has reminded her students not to make them too high.

Though students have had fun adding their own creative flare to make the functional art to sell, it runs much deeper than that.

“We are going to be selling everything for the Kid’s Kitchen so the proceeds go there,” Kjerland said. “So that’s the motivation behind our projects.”

The First Friday Junk to Funk fundraiser event will be from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Campus Bookstore.The event is open to the community. For more information visit the Junk to Funk Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/junktofunk.uaa or call Din at 907-786-1785.