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Local students clean up in recycling art contest

The artwork of Prairie Winds fifth grader A.J. Almestica is on display as a
billboard across from the Rawlings Library in downtown Pueblo. Almestica was
the winner of the countywide 2013 Billboard Art Contest for recycling
awareness. Kristen M. White | View photo
The artwork of Prairie Winds fifth grader A.J. Almestica is on display as a billboard across from the Rawlings Library in downtown Pueblo. Almestica was the winner of the countywide 2013 Billboard Art Contest for recycling awareness. Kristen M. White | View photo

Two Pueblo West students have created recycling-themed artwork that is getting a lot of attention.

A.J. Almestica, a fifth grader at Prairie Winds Elementary School, was named grand prize winner for the kindergarten through fifth grade division of the 2013 Billboard Art Contest.

The countywide contest encourages students to create artwork about recycling to help spread the word about the importance of recycling.

His artwork is on a billboard, currently being displayed in Pueblo at the intersection of Union and Church Place, across from the Rawlings Library.

And at Pueblo West High School, senior Gavin Ramos was one of 12 winners in the Colorado Association For Recycling statewide art contest.

The winners’ artwork is featured in a wall calendar.

There were more than 2,000 entries in the recycling contest last spring, and three of them are from Pueblo County.

Another winner, Rebecca Farris, graduated from Pueblo West High School in May.

Both Ramos and Almestica are excited that their artwork will help inspire others to recycle.

“I wanted to make it easy for everybody to understand, and I wanted to show the materials that we need to be recycled,” Almestica said.

His artwork shows four different types of recyclables, along with “Be cool, recycle in school.”

“It made me feel special and really darn happy to win,” he said.

Ramos said his artwork, done with a sharpie and pencil, just came naturally.

Although art is just a hobby – he will sign his papers to join the Air Force in February — it’s something that he loves and obviously excels at.

“It takes one individual person’s actions to make this world better,” Ramos said.

“And at least one action from everybody can help our world. I figure everybody should recycle.”

Ramos heard about the recycling contest from his art teacher and said he was confident in his work, but still very excited to know his was one of the best in such a large group of entries.

The recycling calendar can be viewed and ordered online at www.cafr.org, then by clicking under “Poster contest” on the right hand side and scrolling down to the 2013 winners.

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