View full release with images of our winners and their artwork here.
Bennington, VT: From 113 entries received from students around the country, Rachel Huang from Flushing, Queens, NY; Athena Tumbelekis from Geneva, NY; and Artley Whipple from Orinda, CA have been selected as winners of the Beyond Plastics Earth Day poster contest.
Beyond Plastics, a nationwide project based at Bennington College that empowers students and community leaders around the country to reduce plastic pollution, organized the Earth Day poster contest to celebrate the planet, raise awareness of our plastic pollution crisis, and promote ideas to stem the tide of plastic pollution.
“Since the beginning of this health crisis, Beyond Plastics shifted to online activities to engage students and the public on this important issue from the safety of their own homes,” said Judith Enck, President of Beyond Plastics and visiting faculty at Bennington College. “We are excited to announce these poster contest winners. Every piece of art is inspiring, and we thank all of the students who took the time to make art that represents their vision on this important environmental issue. We were blown away by the incredible range of talent and interest in this issue by these wonderful students.”
All winners will receive a plastic-free starter kit filled with products to help reduce or eliminate the amount of single-use plastic used in their households.
For more information about Beyond Plastics, sign up for periodic updates.
“This is Where Plastic Is”
Rachel Huang, age 17, from Flushing, Queens, NY
“I made this poster in hopes of spreading awareness about the effect of plastic pollution on marine wildlife. I decided to create a portrait of a sea turtle in pointillism to illustrate how marine biodiversity is slowly deteriorating due to the surplus of pollution in their habitat,” said Huang. “The sea turtle has a straw in its nose and holds a plastic bag in its mouth, which it assumes is food but, much to its dismay, is not. As opposed to illustrating a traditional shell, I decided to construct the figure of a shell through a pile of single-use plastics much like the ones visible in our waters. In a more lighthearted note, the sea turtle’s name is Tortellini and he carries with him a warning: we can prevent this if we take action.”
Athena Tumbelekis, age 9, from Geneva, NY
“I was inspired because there is a lot of plastic in the ocean, and the plastic hurts the animals and the water,” said Tumbelekis.
“Planet Not Plastic”
Artley Whipple, age 10, from Orinda, CA
“I feel really strongly that this plastic problem is extremely big,” said Whipple. “I really love animals; I have also been to some of the climate change protests in San Francisco. The reason I did my poster like this is that pretty soon the earth is going to literally be covered in plastic, and there would hardly be any room for humans and other animals. Our house— my Mum, Jemima; Dad, Will; Little Brother, Herbie; and my dog, Gabe have been trying to go #PlasticFree, and we all care really strongly about this crisis.”
Five students were selected as finalists to the Beyond Plastics Earth Day Poster Contest, including:
“Bottled Up” by Talia Danastorg, age 15, from Queens, NY
“The Problem” by Izzy Duccini, age 17, from Dubuque, IA
“Save Our Earth” by Vivienne Horvath, age 11, from Hollywood, FL
“Earth Day 50” by Aiden Jakubaik, age 12, from Brookfield, IL
“Stop Using Plastics!” by Olivia McGurk, from Katonah, NY
About Beyond Plastics
Launched in January 2019, Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of community leaders and students to build a vibrant and effective anti-plastics movement.
Our mission is to end plastic pollution by being a catalyst for change at every level of our society. We use our deep policy and advocacy expertise to build a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet, and ourselves, from the plastic pollution crisis. Sign up to receive periodic information about Beyond Plastics.
About Bennington College
Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education. It is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests.
Rooted in an abiding faith in the talent, imagination, and responsibility of the individual, Bennington invites students to pursue and shape their own intellectual inquiries, and in doing so to discover the profound interconnection of things. Learn more at bennington.edu.