Recycled Yard Art Turns Junk Into Masterpieces (Photos)

On display at the 2012 Hillsborough County Fair in Greater Brandon were pieces of recycled art created by local artists for a contest sponsored by the Hillsborough County Extension Service in Seffner.


Call it "trash art" if you must, but don't call it garbage. The Recycled Yard Art Contest on display at the 2012 Hillsborough County Fair showed just how creative people can get with everyday items laying about, including unwanted, weathered, discarded, rusted, beat-up items that are way past their prime — or not.

Rust, condition and age matter not to the creators of the pieces of art that were on display at the fair, where master gardeners Bob and Verna Dickey helped man the show presented in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Extension Service in Seffner.

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"You don't have to throw your stuff away," Verna Dickey said."Every year the [Recycled Yard Art Contest] shows what you can do with [old and unused items]."

She practices what she preaches. This year she entered into the contest a piece called, "Angel in the Garden," made from a reused bowl and recycled plates and glasses.

She used to make her pieces with upside-down pots, for use outdoors. "I made a few and gave them away," Dickey said, then people said they "wanted to use them in the house so I started looking for bowls to use instead of pots."

Her husband, Bob Dickey, who like Verna is a master gardener through the Hillsborough County Extension Service, over the years has had many winning entries in the Recycled Yard Art Contest.

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Earning either a first-place ribbon, People's Choice Award or both, were Bob Dickey's duck made out of a shovel, a dragon fashioned out of truck springs and an orchid and hummingbird made out of shovels.

Bob Dickey did not enter the contest this year.

"I don't know what prompted me to start, I don't know what prompted me to stop," he said. "I just saw these items [laying about] and now I don't see them anymore."

Should the inspiration hit him again, though, he'll be ready for next year's Recycle Yard Art Contest. The annual contest is open to Hillsborough County residents who submit entries "created mostly with recycled or recyclable materials" that are "able to withstand the elements for outdoor display."


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