NY artist, Vicenza students create jellyfish out of 'junk'

Vicenza (Italy) Middle School eighth-grader Bryan Santiago attaches a string of plastic to a jellyfish sculpture that he and other art students have been working on with New York artist Jeffrey Schreier. The students finished three of the plastic structures and the school plans to display them in its hallways.


By KENT HARRIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 11, 2012

VICENZA, Italy — Artist Jeffrey Schreier came a long way to find inspiration.

Schreier, a 68-year-old New York-based artist, spent two weeks working with art students at Vicenza Middle School – creating three jellyfish sculptures out of recycled plastic materials.

Inspiration isn’t hard to find in Italy, he said, citing the many museums within a short drive of Vicenza. But he said the seventh- and eighth-grade students provided inspiration as well.

“They came up with a number of things that haven’t been done before,” he said, referring to previous projects he’s worked on in classrooms in the States.

Schreier said his work with recycled materials is intended to “hopefully stimulate young people to think about how our junk can be turned into art.”

The three jellyfish were constructed of water bottles that students spent months gathering, said teacher Melanie Mann, as well as some colored rope and hula hoops. Students colored the bottles and clear umbrellas that formed the base with their own designs. Schreier likened the appearance to the famed colored glass of nearby Murano, known to many as Venetian glass.

Mann said with school budgets continuing to tighten, using recycled materials for art projects makes financial sense.

“They are kind of funky jellyfish,” Schreier admitted. “I wouldn’t want to run into one of these in the sea.”


Vicenza (Italy) Middle School seventh-grader Magdalena Dalzell used scissors to cut apart a water bottle, then a permanent marker to color it. She created a dolphin. She and her classmates worked with New York artist Jeffrey Schreier over the past two weeks to create jellyfish sculptures made out of plastic, demonstrating that recycled materials could be used to create works of art.