Fiddlehead Center for the Arts wins ecomaine’s ‘Upcycle Challenge’

Scarborough-based non-profit’s design of chandelier from single-use plastic bottles gains most votes, grand prize on Earth Day

ecomaine is pleased to announce that the Fiddlehead Center for the Arts in Scarborough won the most votes for its design of a working chandelier made from single-use plastic bottles, foam, bottle caps, felt, and other materials.

In less than two weeks, the contest saw more than 3,200 votes; the chandelier design won nearly 30% of the total vote, earning the $500 grand prize.

“We’re so impressed by all the designs we received,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s Communications Manager.  “It’s important to congratulate all of our finalists for their amazing creativity, and we are thrilled to see the Fiddlehead Center for the Arts’ ingenious invention take home this grand prize.”

Oona Gilles-Weil, Executive Director at the Fiddlehead Center for the Arts added, “We are grateful for the support of our community in voting for this student-led design.  Thanks to this process and ecomaine’s support, Fiddlehead is now planning to start our own STEAM-A-THON, which will encourage our community to make art from recycled goods. Proceeds from this annual event will support enrichment programming for years to come.”

The Upcycle Challenge asked students in ecomaine’s communities to use items that ordinarily would have been disposed of, to make all-new, functional ones.  From 27 designs, ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee selected six finalists, based on the incorporation of post-consumer materials, the ingenuity and functionality of the new creation, inclusion of students in the process, as well as the approval from a teacher or advisor.

The finalists were:

  1. Aurora Milton, Cape Elizabeth High School: an Upcycled Bomber Jacket made from old shirts and an old bridesmaid dress
  • Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, Scarborough: a working chandelier from single-use plastic bottles, bottle caps, felt, foam, and other materials
  • Laurel Wight, Freeport Middle School: a two-piece outfit made from plastic bags and an old pillowcase
  • The Morse High School Green Club, RSU #1: a bike rack fashioned from old, donated bicycles and a cross-country ski
  • Alexzandra Jewett, Saco Middle School: an end table crafted from parts from a 1989 Ford Mustang that didn’t work any longer
  • Lindsay Turcotte, Saco Middle School: a door hanger for coats, pet leashes, and many other items created from an old rake head