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Man’s trash becomes a child’s masterpiece

Students in the Western Branch Middle School Art Club unveiled their unbridled creativity on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony for their painted trash cans.

More than a dozen art club students spent their school year painting these trash cans under the direction of WBMS Art Teacher Gabby Toni. Their creative receptacles will brighten the hallways with unique designs and colorful personality for years to come, unified under a theme of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

ause of teachers like Ms. Toni,” WBMS Principal Dr. S. Kambar Khoshaba told students, teachers and faculty at the ceremony.

Toni said that she first got the idea last year when she saw dumpsters in Virginia Beach that were painted for Earth Day.

“They turned these ugly dumpsters into gorgeous works of art, so I got inspired by that and I thought why not do that in the school and make these boring trash cans come to life,” she said. “That’s where ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure came to be.’”

The students poured their time, sweat and paint into more than a dozen decorated trashcans and worked whenever they could during their school days to finish their designs. These wild creations have shark fins, aliens, popcorn and other eye-catching features, and all of them are lavished with beautiful color schemes.
“This is so unique. I’ve seen a couple of other schools where there were trash cans that were decorated, but not like this,” Toni said.

Toni, who has taught art at WBMS for 20 years, gave high praise to her art club students for putting their hearts into this project.

“I have a passion for art and creativity, so I try to nurture that in my students,” she said. “Student rapport and having really close relationships – getting to know your kids and encouraging them artistically and just in life — really makes them become better children and better artists. They want to do great stuff for you and they really just get really into it.”