Martic students 'cap' mural
nRecyled container lids turned into artwork for cafeteria. BY ELAINE J. JONES, Correspondent
If one man's trash is another man's treasure, imagine what students could make if an entire school pooled piles of plastic bottle caps.
Families at Martic Elementary School in Holtwood have been banking those non-recyclable container lids for the past year.
On Wednesday, artist and visionary Michelle Stitzlein visited the Penn Manor school to oversee transformation of the caps grouped in piles of red, blue, yellow and other colors into a permanent piece of artwork.
For the next two days, older students worked with cordless drills and metal screws to "cap" a mural sketched on three pieces of plywood in the classroom of art teacher Jenny Groff. When finished, the colorful mural will be hung in the school cafeteria.
"My artwork doesn't necessarily fit in a living room," Stitzlein said of her larger-than-life creations. Wearing a whimsical bottle cap apron and jewelry, Stitzlein showed an all-school assembly of students several examples of her work, then rallied the audience for the task at hand.
Stitzlein sketched the mural but takes no credit for the imagery. The bird, the ladybug, the caterpillar, the cat, the tree and all the other surroundings were drawn by students at Martic.
The working title of the piece, according to Stitzlein, is "a bird in a tree looking down on all his friends."
Groff said retired art teacher Linda Rogers came up with the idea last year. Rogers returned to the school on Wednesday to observe. Both women thanked the Penn Manor Education Foundation for funding Stitzlein's visit from Ohio.
"It's going to turn out nice and big and tall and be really colorful!" exclaimed fourth-grader Audrey Heroy, whose class was the first to get its hands on the lids.
Stitzlein explained power tool safety rules to the fourth-graders before they got the chance to operate the drills. The younger grades were given other jobs.
Fourth-grader Rylee Clair had no problem drilling through layers of plastic and wood.
"It's fun working with your friends," he said, "and doing really creative stuff with bottle caps."
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