Recycling rocks the runway at TISA in Taos
TISA students held their second annual TISA Glam Trash fashion show Thursday (Aug. 23) at their campus on Toalne Street. Students spent a couple of weeks collecting their family’s recyclables and researching how plastics are polluting our oceans, sadly creating literal islands of plastic the size of Texas.
Art’s coordinator and fourth-grade teacher Megan Bowers-Avina created the event two years ago, welcoming Patricia Michaels as the judge and resurrected the event now that the school has found its permanent home. TISA classrooms overflowed with plastic bags, foam egg cartons, water bottles, cardboard, bubble wrap, trash can liners and a varied array of it, in a special finds such as broken umbrellas, kid’s meal plastic toys and Hen Scratch bags.
The original Glam Trash fashionista and founder is also the second-grade teacher at TISA. Nicole Kowalski built Glam Trash in 2001 from “the wastebasket” and has remained at the wheel for the past 15 years. Kowalski was the head judge at the TISA show and came in full recycled regalia to the delight of her students who had never seen their beloved “Ms. Nicole” quite so fancy. Fellow Glam Trash winners and TISA moms Mary Becker and Mary Dambacher joined in the judging, also draped in fantastical, found finery. The school’s sidewalk became a lengthy runway covered in chalk art for the Glammers as grades K-8 worked it for parents and prizes such as Ziggy’s gift certificates and the grand prize gift certificate, which was donated by Seconds Eco Store. TISA teaches content through the arts. Students learned the importance of the three R’s — reduce, re-use and recycle. Many of the TISA Glammers competed in the real Glam Trash show on Saturday (Aug. 25) with TISA 5th-graders Abigail Garcia and Sophia Bates taking home the win in the kids category.
Rabbi Judith HaLevy is a former Taos High School English teacher who also directed the Taos Arts Association and the community theater for more than 15 years.
TISA fourth grader Aiden Stow took second place as ‘UNO Man!’