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Art students make creative Christmas trees

Robin Frye, left, and Laura Rice, right, students at Chesapeake High School show off their Christmas trees.

Robin Frye, left, and Laura Rice, right, students at Chesapeake High School show off their Christmas trees.

CHESAPEAKE — Five years ago, Chesapeake High School art teacher Robin Kimball started a holiday tradition for her art students.

“One of the projects we like to do is take unconventional objects and make Christmas trees out of them,” she said. “Our goal is to not have the students spend any money unless they want to. They can just use items that they have at home.”

This year there was a wide range of trees including one made of Pez dispensers and one made of McDonald’s sandwich boxes.

Junior Robin Frye made her tree out of faux leather with grommets.

“I was just looking for something around the house that we had extra of,” she said. “I thought using faux leather would be cool.”

Another junior, Laura Rice, made her tree out of small Christmas ornaments.

“I just wanted something that would be pretty together,” she said. “I looked around A.C. Moore to try and find something for my tree and I found these little ornaments to use.”

The project takes about two and a half weeks to complete.

“We started working on them the week after Thanksgiving break,” Kimball said. “All of them were made here so that I could help them if they had any issues with it.”

The trees incorporate patterns and repetitiveness in art, but also incorporate other subjects by constructing a base for their tree that will be stable, Kimball said.

“In between Thanksgiving and Christmas, students are so busy with testing,” Kimball said. “We wanted to think of something fun to do that is still learning for them. The students look forward to doing these every year.”

This project is very popular among the art students.

“This project was fun because everyone was making something different,” Frye said. “I like that everyone uses their own ideas.”

For now, students can keep their trees or recycle them, but that might change next year.

“We plan to maybe have an auction for a fundraiser,” Kimball said. “Several people have wanted to buy them.”