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Arts

Children To Create Chihuly-Inspired Artwork At Riverfest

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Courtesy photo
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Hundreds of empty plastic water bottles discarded at Wichita’s Riverfest are not going to waste. The bottles will be turned into colorful art by children participating in what's called a STEAM project.

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
Kate Van Steenhuyse

A colorful chandelier and bridge by the world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly are on permanent display at the Wichita Art Museum. Chihuly is the inspiration for one of the projects at Riverfest designed for kids called Full STEAM Ahead: Fun with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Kate Van Steenhuyse, the program manager at Art Partners, says kids will learn how to turn plastic bottles into sculpture.

“They’ll learn about the cause and effect to a reaction of heat to plastic and how the styrene molecules change when heat is applied," Steenhuyse says. "They’ll also be learning about different facts about recycling and how much plastic waste is used in America, how much of it gets recycled and how much of it doesn’t.”

The individual pieces will be joined into a large hanging sculpture planned to be displayed at Wichita Public Schools new Alvin E. Morris administrative center, which is located in the former Southeast High School building.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

 
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