Caption: Seniors Ian White, Kurt Hinck and Dan Chibbaro pose with their recycled car. (Photo courtesy of Alexis Moyer)
By Jenna Rush, Staff Writer
Hands deep in Bullet trashcans for the last few weeks of the semester, Environmental Studies majors Ian White, Kurt Hinck, and Dan Chibbaro have been fishing for materials to complete their senior capstone project – the art car.
Students passing by the Science Center recently may have noticed the car which is sitting outside decorated with various growing plants. Many have asked why it is there and what, in fact, it is.
On the first day of their senior capstone seminar class, White, Hinck, and Chibbaro, watched a film entitled "Wild Wheels." This film is about people who take actual cars and decorate them in any way they want in order to make art.
One of the key parts to the car is that it can still be driven. "Part of the power of an art car is that you can bring art to the people, people who would never go to an art museum," said Hinck. "It adds significance to the message because it is mobile."
After viewing this film, White, Hinck, and Chibbaro decided to make one for their final capstone. Hinck said, "Our senior seminar capstone is about the automobile in America [...]We asked if we could try to make an art car for our project."
The purpose of the art car, besides serving as their final senior project, is to send a message of re-use to the school.
They envisioned a car decorated completely by items that should have been recycled, but instead had been thrown away. Once a day for two weeks, White, Hinck, and Chibbaro went through the Bullet trash looking for things that should have been recycled.
White said, "We got all the plastics that people throw away instead of recycling, which was absolutely disgusting: sushi holders, salad bowls, knives, forks, spoons, cups. Any piece of plastic you see in Bullet, we have it all."
White, Hinck and Chibbaro want to show the school how so many things can be reused.
The plastic was to be used as the art that covered the car. All of the cups and containers that are on the car are filled with soil and various plants. Among them are petunias, marigolds, dianthus, basil, sage, parsley, grass.
"A lot of people don’t want to take the time, it is inconvenient for people," White said about poor recycling habits on campus, "or they do not know what they can recycle."
But the plastic was not the only material needed for the project. They of course needed a car.
After applying for senior project funding, the school finally approved their project. It was not an easy process.
"It took us a very long time to get this approved through the school," Hinck said. "We didn’t know we would be able to drive it until last week."
The car they finally found was a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria.
"It was kind of perfect in lending itself to our theme because it is a big, wasteful, American car," Hinck said. "It ties in that everything on our car is something that should have been recycled."
They plan to test drive the car on campus this weekend.
According to White, "It has either pissed people off or made people happy."
Either way, they just want people to keep an eye out for it.
"We are trying to get people to come out and say what they think. The stronger the reaction we get, the better," White said.
They hope that, when people see them driving their car around during Springfest, they will stop to look at it and ask what it is all about.
"A lot of people think it’s cool, a lot of people think it’s ridiculous. We want a reaction to it. It is a piece of art," Hinck said. "We are not artists. We are doing it for ourselves, not to go in a museum."