TRASHEDart Contest

After a decade of TrashedArt Contests held at the Lawrence Headquarters Branch, we are very happy to be able to continue the program remotely. Remake, Reuse and Renew the items you would recycle or throw in the trash into something unique and beautiful and rethink the usefulness of garbage.

The 2021 Contest has ended. Please take a look at the 2021 entries below.


Open to artists in grades 7–12 and adults living or working in Mercer County. One entry per artist. Entries must be original artwork.

Photos of the artwork must be submitted as .jpg files. Please keep in mind that low resolution photos will be blurry when they are presented. If you are unsure how to get a higher resolution, take the photo with a smartphone or digital camera. Call the Lawrence Reference Desk for further assistance at 609-883-8292.

Entries must use a minimum of 75% recycled content – metals, paper, rubber, glass, plastic, cloth, etc. The criteria for recycled is something that has been manufactured and would be otherwise thrown away. Non-recyclable materials such as glue, paint, tape, etc. are permitted. Suggestions: newspapers, fabric from old clothing, machine parts, used building materials. For the purposes of this contest, natural materials such as rocks, dirt, bones, and sticks are not considered recycled.

2021 Entries and Winners

Thank you to all of the artists who participated in the TrashedArt 2021 Virtual Contest, and to everyone who voted. Without your help, the TrashedArt 2021 Virtual Contest would not be possible. To see the winning artwork and more amazing artwork by local artists, please check out the Virtual Gallery below. We are pleased to showcase such high quality work.

Adult Category

First Place: “Magical Muse”

Magical Muse

Artist: Helene
Materials Used: Hundred of buttons and literally thousands of beads from my own collection, plus many donated by family and friends.

Second Place: Bird Nest Garden

Bird Nest Garden

Artist: Andy
Materials Used: All of the fencing and planters were made from 100% recycled shipping pallet wood. I collect the pallets from just about everywhere – they are ubiquitous and hundreds of millions end up in landfills every year. I recycled approx. 40 pallets to create this garden.

Third Place: Pistachio Shells Wall Hanging

Pistachio shells wall hanging

Artist: Sumalatha
Materials Used: Pistachio shells – pistachio shells were collected from the pistachios. Cardboard – cardboard was used from packaged boxes. Paper cups – paper cups we use for parties. Wool & Jute thread – Wool and Jute threads were used from the craft supplies I bought to use from the store.

Student Category

Thank you to all of our student artists! We appreciate the impressive quality of work everyone put into their art.

First Place: Artificial Nature

Artificial Nature

Artist: Amber
Materials Used: fruit packaging, plastic straws, recycled paper.

Second Place: Buttonz


Artist: Lindsey
Materials Used: Buttons were given to me by a family member and I had no use for them.

Third Place: Retro Pastel Shoes

Retro Pastel shoes

Artist: DulceMaria
Materials Used: Worn out shoes.

2020 Entries

Due to COVID-19, 2020 was the first year the TrashedART Contest was held virtually and systemwide. Previously, the contest was marketed towards the Lawrence Branch and the entries were displayed there for in-person voting. We expanded both the submissions and the voting online. Check out these blog posts that interview our 2020 participants along with the entries from the 2020 contest!

2020 Virtual TrashedART Reception Slideshow

Adult Category

1st – Connie for “Pretty in Pink”

Pretty in Pink

Tied for 2nd – Maria for “Reflections”


Tied for 2nd – Helene for “Golden Buddha”

Golden Buddha

3rd – Vijayalakshmi for “Wall Hanging Paper Quilling”

Wall Hanging Paper Quilling

Student Category

1st – Amber for “Loving Vincent”

Loving Vincent

2nd – Flynn for “Pollinator”


Tied for 3rd – Oscar for “Birdhouse”


Tied for 3rd – Shrika for “Owl”

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