Teens 'attack' Oak Park with eco-friendly art

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

A group of teens took a week out of their summer to spruce up Oak Park.

As part of an annual Oak Park Public Library program called Art Attack, the ambitious team tackled the garden in front of the library and a spot in Austin Gardens with their creative flower beds, hand-crafted caterpillars and eclectic-colored mushroom display.

Friday marked the end of a five-day project where the group met for five hours a day to brainstorm about their organic art piece. This year's eco-friendly art project leant itself to the idea of combining chicken wire, sod, figs and flowers into the caterpillars, while hand-painted mushrooms and chalk drawings accented the nearby greenery.

"I wanted to do something outside the library that was eco-friendly," said Michele Paladines, an Oak Park librarian in charge of the project. "Eco-friendly art is really big right now."

The mission of the project was to teach the team there are alternatives to art supplies, besides traditional hazardous and environmentally damaging materials. The team-building aspect, she said, was another perk.

"They learned you can make really cool art with the earth," she said.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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