Imagine how recyclable goods transform into art — dainty cups made out of last week’s newspaper or a copy of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” made out of colored plastic milk cartons.

Earth Week is approaching, and UTSA’s environmental friendly organizations are planning various events for the week. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Students’ chapter at UTSA plans to hold a student-organized art exhibit on April 24.

“We want to give students the opportunity to showcase their creativity and have that tie into the theme of earth,” USGBC President GeKai Halton said.

USGBC Students intend to recruit, connect and equip all students by educating and empowering them in having a sustainable lifestyle. Halton and the group members decided this art exhibit would not only celebrate Earth Week, but also bring students together for a common cause—creating art out of recyclable goods.

“Everything submitted is created by students,” Halton said. “We have paintings, works made out of paper and even some designs of buildings. Most of those pieces are recyclable goods and re-usable things that you would probably throw away.”

The only requirement for the art submissions is that students’ works must be sustainable and related to Earth Week. Various environmental student organizations will be attending USGBC Students’ art exhibit, including UTSA’s Green Society.

“A couple of our members will be participating as student artists, including myself,” says UTSA’s Green Society President Paula Nugyen. “[USGBC’s] art event shows that there’s more to recycling.”

Besides the art exhibit, USGBC Students also plan to hold activities. “We want to make this event like a real art gallery event— we’ll have food, drinks, music and a presentation about USGBC and its goals,” says Halton.

Halton hopes students outside of the organization will learn more about sustainability and how everything, including trash, can be used to create something beautiful. This concept embodies the organization’s mission by showing how buildings can be admired for their aesthetic design while maintaining a sustainable environment for the community.

For example, one of the organizations USGBC Students assists with every year is the Ronald McDonald House Charity of San Antonio. This charity allows volunteers to help provide a home-away-from-home facility for children who are critically ill. USGBC Students redecorated a child’s room to make it sustainable and made the theme Marvel’s Avengers.

USGBC Students will be displaying their work from previous charity events at the art gallery along with other students’ artworks. The environmentally themed art exhibition will be held at High Wire Arts Gallery (326 W. Josephine Street) on April 24 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit the USGBC Students’ Facebook page.

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