By Kathy L. Collins

The Tampa Bay History Center is hosting the Third Annual DooDad Art and Sculpture Competition. Hundreds of students from Hillsborough County Public Schools have taken cigar boxes and transformed them into works of art. The show opens Monday, May 5 and runs through Sunday, June 1.

Participating art classes were provided with up to 20 cigar boxes, symbols of Tampa’s unique history, and were asked to transform them into works of art. In addition to creating works of art, the students learned the importance of repurposing and recycling objects to create something new.

This year’s show was a juried competition which showcases the work of hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students. The featured artwork was made with 3,000 wooden cigar boxes donated by Support the Troops, Inc. Students spent the last several months working in groups creating their work of art.

Local schools who participated in this fabulous project included Lennard, Brandon, Plant City, Spoto and Newsome High Schools. Middle schools who participated included Mann, Shields and Turkey Creek. A number of elementary schools participated as well including Bailey, Apollo Beach, Bevis, Cypress Creek, Folsom, Gibsonton, Limona, Ruskin, Seffner and Wimauma.

“This competition allows students to think creatively and offers innumerable lessons,” said R. James “Jim” Robbins, Managing Shareholder of Hill Ward Henderson, whose firm sponsored the DooDad Competition. “Research has shown that programs like these increase motivation, develop positive attitudes and increase attendance at school. By sponsoring the DooDad Competition, we are making the arts more accessible for the students in Hillsborough County while enhancing the future of our local community.”

The Tampa Bay History Center, located at 801 Old Water St. in downtown Tampa, includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space focusing on 12,000 years of Florida history.

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