In celebration of Earth Day, the Mercer County Library System is hosting their annual TrashedArt Contest that encourages patrons to turn ordinary trash into extraordinary art. Like the remote operation of 2020, this year’s TrashedArt contest is once again going virtual.

Julia Cuddahy, Reference Librarian for the Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System said, “The TrashedArt Contest is usually set up as an art exhibit at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch, which now has been converted into a YouTube slideshow for the Mercer County community to view at their convenience.”

Since taking on a virtual platform in 2020, the contest continues to grow in popularity. According to Cuddahy, the contest has seen a record-breaking number of voters. “Our patrons were very responsive to last year’s display as we had the highest number of popular votes for the community’s favorite artwork ever – 437 votes,” she said.

All entries in the TrashedArt contest must use a minimum of 75 percent recycled content, whether that be metals, paper, rubber, glass, plastic, cloth, etc. Non-recyclable materials such as glue, paint and tape are permitted. The contest suggests artists make use of newspapers, fabric from old clothing, machine parts and used building materials. 

Last year’s contest featured creative works such as fish fastened out of scrap metal, Buddha built out of buttons and a paper plate positivity wheel. To view the submissions for the 2020 TrashedArt contest, click HERE.

“We are very happy to highlight the beautiful work of our local artists, especially as that artwork is helping promote sustainability and encouraging better stewardship of our planet,” said Cuddahy. “We are looking forward to another successful year, and we already have several entries!”

The deadline for 2021 submissions for the TrashedArt competition is is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021. The public will be able to vote for their favorites beginning on Monday, April 26 until  Friday, April 30, 2021.

For more information on the 2021 TrashedArt contest and how you can enter, click HERE.